Binge drinking is one of those things you might pass off a college phase or something underage drinkers do when they get their hands on alcohol.
But according to a recent study in the journal Chest, there are a lot of people over the age of 21 who are no where near college age and are binge drinking anyway. That’s dangerous enough in itself, but researchers also discovered something else through their study: alcohol can have an affect on all of your major organs and can actually make it harder for your lungs to breathe.
To do the study researchers took over 12,000 people who were over the age of twenty one but younger than seventy nine. They were asked how often they drank and how much they drank when they did consume alcohol, and then they were grouped the participants into categories of drinkers vs non-drinkers. All of the participants were interviewed over a five year period.
The study found that the people who were excessive drinkers had lower levels of nitric oxide, a gas your lungs produce that helps you fight off infections, compared to the people in the study who were not excessive drinkers. This is the first time research has discovered a link between binge drinking and nitric oxide levels.
Because alcohol can have a serious effect on how much of this gas you have in your lungs, if you’re someone who has breathing problems such as emphysema, COPD, or asthma, you may want to talk to your doctor about whether or not you should excessive amounts of alcohol.
Alcohol may be legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Besides the obvious danger that comes from the mental effects of alcohol, from deluding you into thinking you can safely get behind the wheel to making your feel invincible, this is just another piece of research that shows you that alcohol has a powerful effect on your body too.
This is one study that might really make you think the next time you drink.