Binge Drinking Harmful to Health

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A single wild night of binge drinking can have a significant impact on one’s health. According to a research study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and published by the journal PLOS ONE, excessive drinking can trigger a negative immune response to the body that could impact the health of a relatively healthy individual.

A single episode of binge drinking has long been thought of as harmless to one’s overall health. It had been long believed that drinking does damage to the body over an extended period of time, but the study now proves this not to be the case and that women in particular are most at risk. According to reports, women who consume as many as four glasses of wine in a single night are potentially at risk for poor health. The study suggests that a single episode of excessive drinking in women can cause a dangerous bacterial bug leakage in the gut, called endotoxins, that can enter the bloodstream and lead to fever, inflammation, and tissue damage.

The medical study categorizes binge drinking as the consumption of three or more drinks in a two-hour span for men and four or more drinks for a woman in the same time frame. Furthermore, when comparing the presence of endotoxin levels by gender, women presented higher levels in their bloodstream. The metaphysical response to binge drinking is also dependent on the drinker’s body size.

Along with the noted safety issues associated with binge drinking like auto crashes and accidents, the health consequences of liver damage have also long been associated with prolonged drinking. The liver is one of the body’s largest and hardest working organs that works to filter toxins from the blood and provides sustained health in the form of glucose to the body. Ethanol, the prime component in alcohol causes the liver to work at converting ethanol into acetic acid, which gets processed by the body into a less toxic compound known as acetate. Acetate is then excreted out of the body in the urine. As the liver works double time on the body to rid it of ethanol, the harmful lack of glucose results in drinkers experiencing hangovers, diminished cognitive functions, lethargy, headaches, and vomiting. Symptoms many would say are the fallout from a wild night of drinking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that those countries in the western world with a high prevalence of binge drinking includes the United Kingdom ranking very high at 28 percent, nearly double the global average. The UK is shown to out-drink countries like Ukraine, Hungary, and Estonia. The United States showed a prevalence of 17 percent of heavy drinkers, according to the WHO.

Those who continue to indulge in the harmful practice of binge drinking, despite the health warnings, are also cautioned of the caloric ramifications of excessive drinking. A single beer contains the most calories at 208 per serving, while vodka reportedly has the least amount of calories at 55 calories per serving and wine contains 85 calories.

By Hal Banfield

Sources:
Daily Mail
The Telegraph
Healthsite

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