A study begun in Mexico with the collaboration of university students analyzed the effect of weekend alcohol consumption on the lipids comprising cell membrane and its genetic material, i.e. DNA.
Until now, the damage to the packaging of nuclear material in the early stages of alcohol abuse has never been documented, perhaps because most of the studies are done at later stages with people who have been consuming alcohol in an addictive way for many years. The results have been published in the journal Alcohol.
The harmful consumption of alcoholic beverages is a global problem and constitutes a significant health, social and economic problem. According to World Health Organisation data, alcohol is responsible for 2.5 million deaths a year worldwide and youngsters between the ages of 19 and 25 account for 320,000 of them; it causes harm that goes beyond the drinker’s physical and mental health.
The effects of alcohol abuse have been mostly studied in people who have been consuming alcohol for a long time and who therefore display symptoms ranging from liver damage to various types of cancer, depression and disorders of the nervous system. This study instead deals with the effect of alcohol on young, healthy people.
The idea of studying the oxidative effect of weekend alcohol consumption came about when the researcher Adela Rendón was lecturing in Clinical Biochemistry at the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico. Many of the students turning up for class first thing on Monday morning displayed a lack of attention and general malaise due to having drunk alcohol over the weekend.
The researcher suggested to them that they should study the effects on their bodies of the weekend consumption that the students regarded as harmless. The students got involved in the project in which Jesús Velázquez (Autonomous University of Nayarit, Mexico) also participated, and after completing the necessary administrative requirements and enlisting the help of various experts in surveys and analysis, the aim of the study was specified: oxidative damage caused by the consumption of alcohol beverages in young people.
The students were divided into two groups: the control group made up of the students who did not drink alcohol and the study group of those who drank at weekends. To make sure that they were healthy individuals without any other diseases or addiction that could alter the results of the study, they underwent blood tests.
The age of the students ranged between 18 and 23 and the average consumption of alcohol was 118 g, a liter and a half of beer, for example.
Read More: Here