Sure, you know that doing the fifth keg stand of the night is probably not good for you. But new research from the University of Missouri finds that it can give you way more than just a beer belly – it can change your genes for good.
In the study, published in the journal Hepatology International, researchers fed rats "binge" levels of alcohol and then checked their liver levels. They found that drinking too much alcohol can mess up the genes in your cells, which then can cause serious damage to your liver that can't be reversed.
Here's the science: Binge drinking alters proteins called histones in your liver. Histones organize the strands of your DNA, so once alcohol changes them, your body changes how it reads and interprets your DNA. This causes irreversible damage to your liver, because your body doesn't recognize your liver cells correctly. The liver, they say, then becomes a "cluster bomb," which damages other organs in your body.
And you don't have to constantly do shots to be considered binge drinking. When men have five or more drinks within two hours, and when women have only four during that period, they're reaching blood alcohol levels associated with binge drinking, according to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Something to think about before you head out for bottomless brunch.
[h href='http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2791472/binge-drinking-alter-genes-cluster-bomb-health-issues-warn-scientists.html' target='_blank">Daily Mail']
Image via Getty