Study Reveals Link Between Binge Drinking And Risk For Developing Alcoholic Liver Disease

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According to a recent study, over consumption of alcohol may create a different kind of liver damage that affects key organ functions.

Everyone knows that regular binge drinking carries numerous negative side effects and consequences, some of which are fatal yet so many drinkers continue to engage in unhealthy drinking habits.

A new study has revealed that long after the symptoms of the hangover, the consequences of binge drinking can still take a toll on the liver of the drinker.

Contained in the latest issue of “Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research” a study at the University of Missouri has revealed a unique connection between binge drinking and the risk for developing alcoholic liver disease and a variety of other health problems.

The medical news website reported on the study:

“In our research, we found that binge drinking has a profound effect on the liver in various modes of alcohol exposure,” said Shivendra Shukla, PhD, Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and corresponding author of the study. “No longer can we consider chronic alcohol consumption as the only factor in developing alcoholic liver disease.”

Shukla said it’s important to note there will be more liver injury in a chronic alcoholic if that person binge drinks, but a binge drinker may sensitize the liver over a longer period and make it prone to more damage. MU researchers studied the effects of binge drinking when coupled with chronic alcohol consumption and also in isolated cases of binge drinking not associated with chronic alcohol consumption.

Nationwide and in Missouri, binge drinking is on the rise. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking for women as having four or more drinks in two hours; for men, it is five or more drinks in two hours. An estimated 29 percent of women and 43 percent of men have reported experiencing at least one binge drinking episode over the course of a year.


The researchers also discovered that binge drinking amplifies injury to the liver when there is pre-exposure due to chronic alcohol consumption.

Because of the livers key role of being the metaboliser of the body, it affects other organs and systems of the body, including nutrient and drug metabolism and distribution, as well as the production of multiple agents that are needed for the heart, kidney, blood vessels and brain to function efficiently.

Professors have advised that binge drinking should not only be associated with liver damage, because it is like a “cluster bomb”, sending out various damaging signals to systems in the body. If those organs are working at a lower level of function, then a whole host of physiological processes is affected negatively.

Drinking in moderation is the best way to enjoy the benefits of alcohol without any of the consequences. Stick to the limit advised for your gender and keep track of the number of standard drinks you consume to ensure you do this.

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