A study has found very dramatic differences between the effects of alcohol administered in moderation on a daily basis and the same total weekly amount of alcohol administered on only two days of the week: (replicating binge drinking).
In a lab experiment, mice that were given regular moderate amounts of alcohol showed no weight gain, improved lipid values, and much less development of atherosclerosis than did control animals.
However, those given alcohol in a binge-drinking pattern showed worse outcomes than control animals, and much worse outcomes than those given regular moderate doses of alcohol.
The authors examined the effect of daily-moderate (2 drinks/day, 7 days/week) and weekend-binge (7 drinks/day, 2 days/week) patterns of alcohol consumption on plasma lipid levels and physiological parameters of atherosclerotic plaque development.
This experimental study provides strong support for the frequent finding among humans in epidemiologic studies, that is: benefits from regular moderate drinking and adverse effects from binge drinking.