Research is underway to explore the link between alcohol and certain type of cancers, which will perhaps help understand genetic factors that influence DNA repair pathways.
The study examined the reaction of acetaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen (a substance that can induce cancer formation, found in alcohol) with polyamines - natural compounds essential for cell growth.
Polyamines are usually considered to be beneficial to the body because they have been shown to protect DNA from oxidative damage. However, surprisingly, polyamines were found to facilitate the conversion of acetaldehyde into crotonaldehyde (CrA), an environmental pollutant that has been shown to cause cancer in animals.
This chemical in turn altered DNA, which caused the normal cells to become malignant. If more studies are conducted, then, it may provide a mechanism to explain how alcohol consumption increases the risk of some types of cancer.
These changes have been observed with acetaldehyde concentrations that have been measured in human saliva during alcohol consumption.
Drinking alcoholic beverages has already been linked to an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal cancer and other types of cancer.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service
Medindia on Alcoholism:
Man has always enjoyed getting intoxicated. Alcohol has always been an important part of all social occasions and rituals. Today alcohol consumption is one of the most serious public health problems not just in our country but in developed countries as well.
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