Alcohol damages DNA, increases cancer risk, new study says

Pouring alcohol in shot glasses

"Drinking alcohol can damage DNA in stem cells and increase a person's risk of cancer, according to a new study."
These are mouth, upper throat (pharynx), voice box (laryngeal), esophageal, breast, liver, and bowel cancer. The rodents that were engineered to lack the enzymes were four times more likely to have their DNA damaged by alcohol than regular mice.

Their study, which was funded by Cancer Research U.K., is published this week in the journal Nature.

The scientists made use of chromosome analysis and DNA sequencing of mice to examine what happens when they were given diluted alcohol.

Blood stem cells, found in blood and bone marrow, are immature blood cells that can develop into any type of blood cell, including white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells.

Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, who is Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology at the University of Cambridge, but not involved in the study, was impressed with the research. This is of significance because when the genetic code of stem cells gets scrambled, the changes can lead to the cells mutating and causing cancer.

They found that acetaldehyde can break and damage DNA within blood stem cells leading to rearranged chromosomes and permanently altering the DNA sequences within these cells.


Lead study author Prof.

"This is handsome work, which puts our finger on the molecular basis for the link between alcohol and increased cancer risk and stem cells". However, acetaldehyde doesn't always have such a destructive effect on the body thanks to two saving mechanisms.

Enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) form the first line of defense against alcohol-related damage.

Millions of people - particularly from Southeast Asia - either lack these enzymes or carry faulty versions, said the team. This byproduct is acetaldehyde, which is toxic. These individuals will experience tell-tale flushed cheeks and potentially feel ill. "But it's important to remember that alcohol clearance and DNA fix systems are not flawless and alcohol can still cause cancer in different ways, even in people whose defence mechanisms are intact".

The study also examined how the body tries to protect itself against damage caused by alcohol. "This is lovely work which puts our finger on the molecular basis for the link between alcohol and increased cancer risk and stem cells", she commented.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Priceline Group Inc (PCLN) Shares Sold by Dana Investment Advisors Inc
It turned negative, as 66 investors sold PCLN shares while 320 reduced holdings. 30 funds opened positions while 78 raised stakes. California Public Employees Retirement System increased Priceline.Com Inc ( PCLN ) stake by 4.87% reported in 2017Q3 SEC filing.

Science Applications Internation (NYSE:SAIC) Sellers Covered 0.97% of Their Shorts
Hennessy Advisors Inc decreased Science Applicatns Intl Cp New Com ( SAIC ) stake by 7.83% reported in 2017Q3 SEC filing. Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE:SAIC) has risen 37.99% since January 4, 2017 and is uptrending.

Intel responds to security vulnerability, calling out AMD and ARM
UPDATE with ARM Statement: ARM confirmed that Cortex-A processors are affected by this situation, but that others aren't so much. However, we did not manage to successfully leak kernel memory with the attack described in Section 5, neither on ARM nor on AMD.

There Are White Creme Eggs in Them There Supermarkets
The eggs are the same as the original version with a gooey fondant yolk centre, except the shell is made out of white chocolate. For white chocolate fans, they've been forced to miss out on tasty treats, including the famous Cadbury's Creme Egg.

Coachella 2018 lineup: Beyoncé, Eminem and The Weeknd headline
After a seven-year break, Eminem made his comeback to music at the end of 2017 - releasing his ninth studio album Revival . Beyoncé had a sizable impact on 2017 despite not releasing an album or playing any major concerts besides the Grammys.

Other news