Binge drinking hurts immune system in young adults
Here's yet another reason to avoid getting into a habit of binge drinking--it can impair your the functioning of your immune system, says a new study at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
In order to evaluate the impact of binge drinking--defined as four drinks for women and five drinks for men over two hours--the researchers recruited eight men and eight women, with a median age of 27, and asked them to drink five shots of vodka within a two-hour period.
They then took blood samples of the participants 20 minutes after they reached peak intoxication. Initially, their immune systems "revved up," but when more blood was taken two and five hours later, it showed that their immune systems were less active than when they wre sober.
Not only would this make people more likely to develop infections, but it would also reduce the ability of their bodies to recover from the kind of traumatic injuries often associated with binge drinking.
The study was published in the journal Alcohol. The researchers said they next will study how binge drinking may affect the ability of burn victims to heal.