A new study suggests that binge drinking is bad, but binge drinking with chronic alcohol use is worse. Excessive alcohol consumption is a global public health issue.
Now, a study by University of Missouri School of Medicine researchers shows that chronic alcohol use, when combined with repeated binge drinking, causes more damage to the liver than previously thought.
‘Liver damage increased tremendously in mice exposed to both chronic use and repeat binge episodes.’
Lead author Shivendra Shukla noted that either chronic alcohol use or acute repeat binge episodes caused moderate liver damage when compared to the control group not exposed to alcohol.
However, Shukla, said that in the mice exposed to both chronic use and repeat binge episodes, liver damage increased tremendously. Even more shocking was the extent of fatty deposits in the livers of those exposed to chronic plus binge alcohol.
It was approximately 13 times higher than the control group. The highly amplified fat accumulation was in part caused by metabolic changes within the liver. These changes not only significantly increased fatty liver deposits, but increased stress on the organ while decreasing the liver's ability to fight the stress.
Shukla also pointed out that chronic and excessive alcohol use should not be associated only with liver damage, adding that it is important for us to understand the extent of damage caused by alcohol abuse, which also can lead to other health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. The study appears in Biomolecules