Can Alcohol Affect Stem Cells?

We all want to be ‘young, wild, and free’, right? When we are young, we frequently go to live events and we drink alcoholic beverages until we get so drunk. The excessive consumption of alcohol to the point that you get drunk is known as binge-drinking.

In fact, binge-drinking has become a major concern for the people in the UK. Many of the youngsters are making parties and they consume copious amounts of alcohol. Although there are information drives that warn them about the possible effects of drinking too much of this kind of beverage, people just do not care about it at all.

However, new studies have found that drinking too much alcohol can actually have a negative impact on your stem cells.

Binge-Drinking and Stem Cells

The study involved four adolescent monkeys and they were given some alcohol throughout the week for a period of 52 weeks (or one year). If you’re asking why monkeys are the preferred test subjects, this is because they have similar brain development mechanisms such as ours.

Over the course of 52 weeks, the monkeys were given alcoholic beverages for, at least, an hour a day, every day. This is to induce binge-drinking behavior that is similar to what our youth are doing today.

Just two months before the end of the year, the monkeys’ brains were examined and they were then dissected after a period of one year.

It is also important to note that the researchers have also gotten a hold of some monkeys who were not given any alcohol (considered as the Control Group).

After dissecting the monkeys who were given alcoholic drinks, they found that the monkeys who were consuming alcohol have far fewer stem cells than the monkeys who don’t.

In fact, the difference was so significant in that they’ve declared a lot of up to 90% of the total stem cell count in the monkey’s brains. This is quite alarming given how important stem cells are to our bodies, let alone our brains.

This study could give us the reason why many adolescents are alcohol-dependent when they reach adulthood. It is probably due to the low stem cell count and also because of the sensation they feel when they consume alcohol.

Criticisms About the Study

As you can tell, there are certain criticisms being raised about the study. For one, the monkeys were given alcohol for one hour every day. This really doesn’t equate into real-life given that teenagers only binge-drink every weekend or so.

Furthermore, for the most part, teenagers abstain from the consumption of alcohol for pretty much most of the week. And, there are even some instances where they do not consume any alcohol in a week at all.

Binge-Drinking Must Stop

Even though there are many criticisms about the study, we shouldn’t discount the possibility that drinking copious amounts of alcohol can, in fact, affect the stem cell count in our bodies.

This is not to say that you should never drink alcohol, but this is just to say that if anything, drink in controlled moderation and never drink for long periods of time.