Better slow down: Study finds binge drinking can rewrite your DNA

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NEW BRUNSWICK -

College students listen up – binge drinking may have a negative effect on your body on a genetic level.

A new study from Rutgers University suggests that too much alcohol can actually rewrite DNA.

“We predicted something must be going on at the cellular level,” says Professor Dipak Sarkar, head author of the study. “We have long-term changes of these genes. You have a chance to become an alcoholic.”

Alcoholism can lead to liver disease, a higher chance of diabetes, breast cancer or prostate cancer. Sarkar also adds that over-drinking can lead to depression and anxiety.

But Sarkar notes that the study is in its early stages.

"This is just the beginning of the study. I think we have a lot of questions to answer,” he says.

Some doctors say that in regard to this study, proceed with caution.

"You may have a tendency towards alcoholism that could be accelerated. That could be possible, but we need to borne out a great deal further study and validation,” says Dr. Arnold Pallay, medical director of the Vanguard Medical Group.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a period of about two hours.

The study was published in the journal “Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.”

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