Alcohol can damage DNA in cells increasing the risk of cancer
There is growing evidence linking alcohol consumption to increased cancer risk. According to British researchers, alcohol can cause DNA damage in some stem cells that could potentially lead to dangerous mutations.
According to a study conducted by scientists of Cambridge University's MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, alcohol can cause irreversible genetic damage in com stem cells of the body. This study provides the most convincing evidence on the fact that alcohol can cause cancer.
More and more evidence has emerged over the past decade on the link between drinking alcohol and the risk of some rych cancer. A recent study in mice suggests that alcohol damages DNA in the com stem cells. The culprit is a chemical compound called acetaldehyde. It is a byproduct of alcohol metabolism.
When alcohol is consumed, only a small portion is excreted from the body. The rest is metabolized head nie in the liver. Alcohol dehydrogenase is responsible for this, which ra changes ethanol into acetaldehyde, which hich in turn is up to 30 times more toxic than alcohol itself. When acetaldehyde is not further broken down – for example, when someone has consumed alcohol in very large quantities, it accumulates in the cell rks and wreak havoc on DNA.
Previous studies have already shown that acetaldehyde causes damage to DNA, but these experiments were conducted in extremely high concentrations of acetaldehyde and on com rkami in laboratory pr b in the cells, rather than in the living organism. The new research built on previous studies, and the results were published on „Nature”.
During the study, the researchers focused on the hematopoietic ric cells rks because they can be easily reproduced. But the effects of alcohol can be similar for other types of in the com rek.
In experiments on a living organism, scientists were able to observe how b how it reacts. Rodents were given diluted alcohol and then their DNA was sequenced to assess the damage. Researchers have found that acetaldehyde can cause DNA damage inside a cell’s rek, permanently altering them if the effects of the toxins are not neutralized by natural defense mechanisms.
One such mechanism defense is aldehyde dehydrogenase, which ra prevents the accumulation of acetaldehyde and oxidizes it to form acetic acid. About 8 percent of. of the world’s population, mainly nie of East Asian origin, has an inherited deficiency in the enzyme in aldehyde dehydrogenase, which may explain the high percentage of cancers in the esophagus in countries such as China.
During the experiment researchers „excluded” these mechanisms to more accurately assess what was happening to the com rkami. Thanks to this, they were able to show that DNA damage builds up until the com rks eventually cease to function. After administering diluted alcohol to mice for 10 days, their ability to produce blood was completely destroyed.
– Our research has shown that the inability to process alcohol efficiently can lead to a greater risk of DNA damage, and therefore a greater risk of some rych cancers. But it is important to remember that the body’s defense mechanisms are not perfect, and alcohol can cause cancer on sible ways, even in people who rych these systems are intact – explained Professor Ketan Patel, who led the study.
According to data from the United Kingdom, alcohol consumption causes about 4 percent of. case in cancer in the Islands. This gives nearly 13,000 cases of each year. Syndrome ł scientists now plans to investigate why alcohol consumption is linked to specific types of cancer – oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, breast or intestinal – and not to others.