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College Binge Drinking Could Damage DNA

Beer 030512 21Aug12

Heavy-drinking college students may do significant damage to their DNA, according to a new study from researchers at the Autonomous University of Nayarit in Mexico.

Researchers examined the DNA health of two groups of college students, one that drinking regularly and one that doesn't drink. They look specifically at the level of oxidative damage, which strains proteins, membranes and genes.

The drinkers consumed an average of 1.5 liters of alcohol each weekend and showed twice the level of oxidative damage as those who drink no alcohol. They also found that consuming high levels of alcohol can have cumulative effect, making the damages to their DNA similar to those of older adults.

"The fact is, there should not have been any damage at all because they had not been consuming alcohol for very long, they had not been exposed in a chronic way," the researchers said.

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