Drinking May Be Worse for You Than You Thought
We all know that drinking too much is “bad for you”, but new research from the other side of the world is beginning to look into exactly how bad for you it can be. Now, when I say “too much” I mean frequent binge drinking or other general symptoms of alcoholism. This is exactly how a recent study examined the effects of alcohol abuse, with Kobe University in Japan being quick to draw conclusions as to the effect of drinking too much.
In the study, researchers examined 255 subjects, with about half of those subjects being self-proclaimed alcoholics. Now, you may be asking yourself why this study is even a thing: after all, we all already know, at least cursorily, about the adverse effects of excessive drinking. What you may not know, however, is the aging effect of alcoholism. Researchers observed this effect by looking at the telomeres of the autosomes (non-sex chromosomes) of the test subjects. Generally, the telomeres get shorter, or degrade a bit, whenever the cell replicates, but with those participants who struggled with alcoholism, the telomeres had degraded significantly more than should’ve been expected given the natural rate. And sure, aging is natural anyway, but unfortunately the effects of the telomere degradation extended to include increased risks of age-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia.
In summary, the researchers made it very clear that this is a rather early conclusion to write in stone, but the effects of alcoholism on telomeres would be looked into further in due time. Also, the sample size was small and the extent of the subjects’ alcoholism wasn’t clarified prior to the study, so it is not yet known what level of alcoholism may lead to these effects. And good news, if you’re only a moderate drinker, there is more than likely no negative effect on your telomeres at all.
Source: Yahoo Style & Beauty