Jan 9, 2018

We have been told numerous times that alcohol is bad for your health. And despite countless hangovers, hives, and uncomfortable conditions it caused, we still drink anyway. However, you might want to drink more carefully as researchers found that it may actually cause cancer.

According to a new study published in the journal “Nature,” alcohol consumption can damage DNA cells after researchers conducted an experiment on mice. When the body breaks down alcohol, we also produce a substance called acetaldehydes. This substance physically damages DNA cells found in the blood stem cells. This, then, makes one more vulnerable to developing tumors.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

“Some cancers develop due to DNA damage in stem cells. While some damage occurs by chance, our findings suggest that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of this damage,” Professor Ketan Patel told IFL Science.

To fight acetaldehydes, our bodies produce a group of enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH). These enzymes break down the dangerous acetaldehydes as soon as they are formed. However, not everyone produces enough amount of ALDH to combat acetaldehydes. This is particularly true for East Asians. In fact, the lack of ALDH is the reason why most East Asians get an Asian Flush after drinking alcohol.

It may be difficult to avoid alcohol completely, but always remember that the key here is to drink moderately.

Header image courtesy of Pixabay

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