Trillions of cells exist in the human. However, approximately 300 million of these precious biological elements die every minute. A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism reported that drinking alcohol heavily can contribute to the deterioration process.

Recently, researchers conducted a study with individuals ranging in age from 41 to 85. In addition to their drinking histories and habits, DNA, the genetic information of the cells, was extracted from both consumers and non-consumers of alcohol. As cells prepare to multiply, the entire DNA strand is embedded in the chromosomes. Close examination revealed that the telomere, the end portion of the chromosome, was significantly shorter in individuals who consumed alcohol. If the telomere does not have sufficient length, the cell will not continue to divide. This can lead to necrosis, the premature death of the cell.

According to Dr. Naruhisa Yamaki, a clinical fellow at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, telomere shortening can also cause neuron impairments such as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. Yamaki believes that this finding will generate “important information necessary for people to live healthier.”


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