Just One Instance Of Binge Drinking Can Harm Your Health, Study Finds

Maybe you're not a person who engages in binge drinking very often, and are under the impression if you do on occasion, it won't have an adverse effect. That way of thinking makes sense, but unfortunately is contrary to the findings of a study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Researchers discovered even a single night of binge drinking can have a bad impact on your health.

The study's data revealed drinking in excess across a short period of time makes bacteria leak from the gut, which causes a greater amount of toxins to enter the bloodstream. Also, if you're wondering just what constitutes "binge drinking," the amounts may be less than you think. For the purposes of this study, it was defined as having four or more drinks for women, or five or more drinks for men, all across a period of about two hours.

Quoted in an article from the Irish Independent, Professor Gyongyi Szabo, a lead author on the study said, "We found that a single alcohol binge can elicit an immune response," and went on to clarify how that can happen even if a person is otherwise healthy.

In order to qualify for this binge drinking experiment, subjects had to have demonstrated a history of having a healthy relationship with alcohol. For the purposes of this study, that meant women who habitually had fewer than nine drinks per week, and men who drank less than 12. All had to abstain from drinking for at least 24 hours before being examined by the scientists.

The binge drinking test group involved 11 males and 14 females, all of whom were given enough alcohol to raise their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to at least a level of 0.08 within one hour. To look more closely at the effects of the binge, scientists drew blood from the participants every half hour across a 4-hour span, and then one day later.

Because of their binge drinking, the study subjects had rapid increases of endotoxins in their bloodstreams. The endotoxins caused the body to produce immune cells. Scientists also found bacterial DNA in the blood, which meant bacteria had permeated the walls of the gut and was able to travel throughout other areas of the body.

Those two signs have already been previously linked to other issues that can sometimes be related to excessive consumption of alcohol, such as liver disease. However, the frightening thing revealed during this particular study is even if a person takes part in binge drinking on a random occasion, it could still be dangerous to an individual's health.

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