Friday, September 25, 2009

Binge Drinking Undermines Immune System

Binge drinking is no longer an uncommon term as such trend is becoming more and more prevalent nowadays. Not only does it grouped in the category of prevalence, but the binge drinkers are affecting younger generations these day, including students.

Among all the possible bad consequences which affect the students are:

  • Missing class or work due to drinking.

  • Performing poorly on a test or important project.

  • Physical effects, including hangovers, nausea or vomiting, and memory loss.

  • Being sexually harassed or assaulted while drunk, or harassing or assaulting others.

  • Getting into arguments and fights, or being embarrassed by their own behavior while drunk.

  • Damaging property.

  • Getting hurt or injured after drinking.

  • Driving a car while under the influence of alcohol or being arrested for DUI.

  • Generally getting into trouble with the police or University authorities.
  • (Cited from The University Record, October 25, 1999)

    As we can see, binge drinking has became a norm in many western countries in the year 1999, a good 10 years ago. In recent years, there are inclination and news indicate that students who dwell in Asia also tend to follow the infamous trend.

    A latest study in September 2009, by a group of US researchers indicated that binge drinking, apart from causing common aftermaths such as oily heart, is now ascertained that it could impair the immune system of human as well.

    According to the study which is published in the Journal of BMC Immunology, mice had been used as the targets of the experiment. These mice, after being heavily fed with alcohol, stops the body in making pro-inflammatory cytokines.

    Since ethanol is suggested that it could suppress the ability of TLR4 (a protein which plays role in responding in appropriate cytokines production) in sending signals which would consequently producing the appropriate cytokines, the immune system could not work properly and thus resulting in the undermined of human immune system.