April 14, 2024


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Is single night drinking more dangerous for your health? Look at what this study says

3 min read

A single night drinking does not seem to bother you when you are with your friends or family. It is certainly known that drinking is not good for our health, especially when you are bingeing it. If you regularly indulge in drinking, then the side effects of drinking become visible sooner or later.

A recent study highlighted that the effects of drinking can vary upon your drinking pattern. The study showed the difference in the health effects of binge drinking on a single night and drinking the same amount over the week.

In this article, we will discuss more about the study and look at the effects of drinking on the liver.

What does the study say about single night drinking?

Single night drinking (Photo by Misunderstood Whiskey on Unsplash)
Single night drinking (Photo by Misunderstood Whiskey on Unsplash)

The study conducted by the researchers of the University College London (UCL), the Royal Free Hospital, the University of Oxford, and the University of Cambridge revealed that if you are drinking a significant amount of alcohol in a single night, then it becomes riskier for your health compared to one who indulges on similar amounts of alcohol in a single week.

The study said that single night drinking makes you more prone to alcohol-related cirrhosis, which is a stage at which the liver becomes highly scarred. The study used the data of 312,599 adults from the UK Biobank. The data obtained was divided into categories, which included drinking within limits, above limits but below binge, binge, and heavy binge.

The study made it clear that binge drinkers and heavy-binge drinkers are most at risk of getting alcohol-related liver diseases. Even those who exceeded the daily limits and got into binge drinking faced five times more risk with ARLD and heavy-binge drinkers were at nine times higher risk.

Thus it implies that along with the amount of alcohol you are drinking, the pattern with which you are consuming it, is equally important.

The senior author of the study, Dr. Gautam Mehta, said in the report:

“Only one in three people who drink at high levels go on to develop serious liver disease. While genetics plays a part, this research highlights that pattern of drinking is also a key factor. Our results suggest, for example, that it would be more damaging to drink 21 units over a couple of sessions rather than spread evenly over a week.

“Adding genetic information, which may be widely used in health care over the coming years, allows an even more accurate prediction of risk.”

Further, the first author of the study, Linda Ng Fat, said:

“Many studies that look into the relationship between liver disease and alcohol focus on the volume of alcohol consumed. We took a different approach by focusing on the pattern of drinking and found that this was a better indicator of liver disease risk than volume alone.

“The other key finding was that the more risk factors involved, the higher the ‘excess risk’ due to the interaction of these factors.”

What are the effects of drinking on the liver?

Single night drinking (Image by drobotdean on Freepik)
Single night drinking (Image by drobotdean on Freepik)

Be it single night drinking or regular drinking in a week, the effects remain the same and vary depending on the severity of it. The common problem one can face when they consume alcohol regularly can be fatty liver where fat builds up in the liver and affects the working of the liver.

Further, one may develop inflammation in the liver, also called alcoholic hepatitis. This is generally developed after getting a fatty liver.

The next stage of inflammation is acute alcoholic hepatitis in which the individual loses appetite, struggles with pain, or liver failure. This basically paves the way to cirrhosis in which the healthy cells in the liver are scarred.

It is better to abstain from drinking to avoid the risks related to it. However, if one still chooses to consume it, single night drinking should be avoided as along with the volume of alcohol consumed, the pattern of drinking also matters.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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