If you often knock back a few too many margaritas on Saturday night, you may be risking more than just a wicked hangover. Even moderate drinking over the weekend can lead to oxidative stress, or damage to your DNA, according to a new study published in the journal Alcohol.
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Researchers looked at two groups of college students between the ages of 18 and 23. While the control group didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drink, the other group drank an average of 118 grams of ethanol per week, or the equivalent of about three pints of beer. That may not seem like a lot of boozeÃ¢â‚¬”in fact, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s less than the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s definition of binge drinking, which is seven drinks per week for womenÃ¢â‚¬”but the drinking group showed twice as much cell damage as the non-drinking group.
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Luckily, the study authors note that this isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t considerable damage to your DNA, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still a little concerning that young adults see any oxidative stress at all after a weekend of boozing it up.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s another reason you need to stay on top of your drinking: Only one in six adults say that their doctor has discussed alcohol use with them, according to a new report from the CDC. And only one in four binge drinkers have talked about it with their docs. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The bottom line here is that drinking too much is a big problem among U.S. adults,Ã¢â‚¬Â said CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., in a press conference Tuesday. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a free pass when it comes to screenings by health professionals, but should be a part of all the screenings that are provided.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The CDC is proposing routine screening and brief counseling under the Affordable Care Act, but that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean that your doctor will definitely bring it up at your next visit. For now, consider it your responsibility to discuss your drinking habits with your physician.
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