Not just your liver, heart, and kidneys, drinking alcohol can also damage your DNA

Over the years, there has been a lot of research pointing to this drinking alcoholIt can help, albeit just a little bit, keep your heart in good shape, and this wine may help delay aging. But now experts are debunking this very finding. According to his research American Cancer SocietyAlcohol contributes to more than 75,000 cases of cancer annually and nearly 19,000 cancer deaths. Moreover, experts suggest that not only the liver, heart and kidneys, drink alcohol It can also damage DNA.

“Although we inherit genes from our parents, their expression is uniquely regulated in each person and may be affected by their lifestyle. Alcohol exposure affects the pattern of gene expression and may explain some of the complications,” said Dr. Yash Jhaveri, director of critical care and emergency medicine at Regency Health. systemic.

According to Dr. Javeri, genetic studies provide new evidence that alcohol accelerates biological aging. The results of a new analysis indicate that alcohol directly damages DNA, by shortening the protective telomeres responsible for the repetitive DNA sequences that cover the end of chromosomes, protecting them from damage. Harm. According to researchers from NIMHANS, excessive alcohol consumption can cause irreversible changes in DNA and these changes can persist even when alcohol is not consumed.

DNA Acetaldehyde is a highly reactive carcinogen that damages DNA (Source: Pixabay)

A February 2021 study of 52 men ages 21 to 40 who attended the NIMHANS Addiction Medicine Clinic from March 2015 to April 2016 seeking treatment for alcohol problems indicated that excessive alcohol consumption led to alcohol use disorder (AUD), a change DNA in men, and these changes can last for at least three months during complete withdrawal and reduced consumption. The study has been published in American Journal of Medical Genetics.

How does alcohol affect DNA?

Dr. Manisha Arora, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Sri Balaji Medical Institute, Delhi, said acetaldehyde is a highly reactive carcinogen that damages DNA by causing point mutation or cross-links between DNA and DNA. “Alcohol consumption increases acetaldehyde levels in the blood and saliva, which increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the digestive tract,” said Dr. Arora.

According to cancer research uk.org, alcohol is broken down through a rigorous process and converted into energy. “And it’s acetaldehyde, in the middle of that chain, that’s the weakest link. If acetaldehyde isn’t broken down further, it builds up in cells where it damages DNA in a way that can cause cancer,” she says. Research 2018 Notes.

This interaction, called methylation, may alter the expression of many genes and may even have adverse effects, Dr. Pir Sehrawat, Director, Department of Gastroenterology, QRG Marengo Hospital, Faridabad told Indianexpress.com. “even when They drink a lot They stopped drinking, and their methylation levels did not return to those of non-drinkers, indicating that the alcohol-related chemical changes in DNA cannot be reversed,” Dr. Sehrawat told Indianexpress.com.

Dr Bhavana MV, Consultant Microbiologist, Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road, Bangalore agreed and said that “there is some evidence that chronic alcoholism can cause some changes in DNA and can contribute to tumor initiation and progression.” “Chronic alcohol consumption is known to be an important risk factor for liver and a few gastrointestinal cancers,” said Dr. Bhavana.

Dr. Arora also stressed that alcohol causes oxidative stress, another form of DNA damage, which can be particularly dangerous for the cells that line blood vessels. Oxidative stress can lead to hardening of the arteries, which leads to high blood pressure and Coronary heart disease for the body. It mainly affects DNA, which is why it affects many organs and tissues. Over a lifetime, chronic consumption damages tissues and cells over time.”

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