A single episode of binge drinking can increase toxins in the blood that can be harmful to health, according to a new study. The toxins can trigger immune cells involved in fever, inflammation and tissue destruction.
Binge drinking is defined as having four glasses of wine for women, or five glasses for men, in two hours. “Our observations suggest that an alcohol binge is more dangerous than previously thought,” said lead researcher Dr. Gyongyi Szabo of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. The findings are published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Binge drinking increases the risk of car crashes and injuries, and can cause long-term damage to the liver and other organs, Medical News Today reports.
The new study found an episode of binge drinking can cause bacteria to leak from the gut into the bloodstream, releasing toxins called endotoxins. Women had higher blood alcohol levels and circulating endotoxin levels, compared to the men in the study.