Young adults may damage DNA with alcohol consumption
High levels of alcohol consumption can damage the consumer’s DNA, according to a new study aimed at college students and young adults.
Researchers examined the effects of alcohol on two groups of healthy adults between ages 18 and 23. One group drank an average of 1.5 liters—approximately 50 ounces—of alcoholic beverages every weekend, while the other group did not consume any. Using a process involving blood cells called the comet test, scientists were able to examine the effects of alcohol consumption on DNA damage.
The findings, published in the journal Alcohol, showed that the group that consumed alcohol had more than five times the amount of DNA damage than the group that abstained from alcohol. The damage to the drinkers’ DNA was not considered excessive, but researchers said their study raises concerns because the young adults should not have had any DNA damage after partaking in alcohol consumption for only a few years. The study is the first of its kind to provide scientific evidence that early stages of alcohol abuse are connected to health damage at a molecular level.