This goes out to all the party buffs who think that sipping a glass or two of alcoholic drinks a day will not cause any harm.
A recent study presented at The International Liver Congress 2015 in Vienna, Austria unveiled that cirrhosis burden caused by alcohol went up by 11.13% when moving from the moderate to heavy daily drinking (one drink for women and two drinks for men).
The researchers drew attention to the fact that indulging in daily consumption of alcohol turns out to be the strongest forecaster of alcoholic cirrhosis.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health shows that around 6% of global deaths are caused by drinking alcohol, the majority of which is from alcoholic cirrhosis.
The researchers examined the WHO’s Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. The report incorporated parameters of alcohol consumption and drinking patterns from 193 countries.
“The presence of heavy daily drinkers in a population most significantly and independently influences the weight of alcohol in a country’s cirrhosis burden,” said Eva Stein, one of the researchers.
Female college students are more likely to depend on drinking alcohol to improve mental well-being, say, researchers, adding that the young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than men, which may lead to less interest in academics.
“Cognitive aptitudes of young women appear to be more affected than for men with high alcohol use,” said study lead author Lina Begdache, Assistant Professor at Binghamton University in the US.
“These behaviors are regulated by the limbic system of the brain. However, the cognitive functions for high drinking alcohol use among the young men and women were different,” Begdache added.
For the findings, published in the journal Trends in Neuroscience and Education, researchers sought to compare neurobehaviours and academic effort among college students with low alcohol use with those of high alcohol consumption and build conceptual models that represent the integration of the different variables.
They sent an anonymous survey to assess college students’ alcohol use and frequency along with questions on sleep, academic performance and attitude toward learning. They compared gender responses and found that both young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol use such as abuse of other substances and risk-taking.
The findings showed that young women reported generally less interest in the academic work and performance than young men. The latter reported more risky behaviours, such as being arrested, from excessive drinking.
The study also found that young women are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being, which is also concerning, as they may self-medicate through drinking. In both genders, the researchers reported an increase in impulsive behaviours, which are under the control of the limbic system (the oldest part of the brain, evolutionary speaking).
Another reason for the difference seen is the differential metabolism of alcohol. Women metabolise alcohol at a slower rate, therefore, they are more likely to feel the effect of alcohol. Consequently, their brain is more likely to accumulate a toxic metabolite, acetaldehyde, which may be altering brain chemistry further to add to the differential behaviours identified in this study.
“Academic performance and risky behaviours among college students may be linked to their drinking habits, so more education and awareness should be shared with college students,” said Begdache.
“These findings are also explained by the fact that women tend to have higher connectivity between cortices, while men have a large cortical volume in the areas on the limbic system that support impulsivity,” Begdache added. (IANS)
Even under normal circumstances, alcohol products are among those which remain under the continuous threat of counterfeiting. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the problem has further aggravated due to a gap in demand and supply. In last one month, almost every day a seizure had been reported in India related to smuggled or illicit liquor. There is always a risk of human life-consuming illicit alcohol. As per the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, harmful alcohol consumption resulted in over 3 million deaths in 2016, and most of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Counterfeiters ape the packaging of popular branded products to dupe customers into buying their fake, substandard, or bad quality products. But there are simple ways by which you can identify genuine liquor products. Chander S Jeena, Secretary of Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), a non-profit organization working towards building up authentication eco-systems in-country, lists down a few:
Choose authorized sellers: Try to buy only from authorized sellers (retail) shop. Do not fall prey to online delivery of alcohol advertisements. Insist for a proper bill for your purchase. If there is online delivery system, please re-verify it from state excise website.
Look closely at the packaging:Always pay close attention to the packaging. Counterfeiters can produce a close copy, but they mostly cannot perfect it. Usually, there are visible differences in the size, logo, and colors used in packaging. This difference might be as small as the text that is being used or a slight change in the logo. A regular user with a keen eye might spot it in an instance. For example: Names such as Johnnie Walker should be with an ï¿½ie’ and not a ï¿½y’ and Chivas Regal would suddenly be turned into Chivas Rigal. Never accept a product that might seems previously been opened. These features are generally missing from fake make-up products. Smudged labels also indicate that the product is counterfeit.
Check for Government Tax stamps (Authentication signs): The most important is check for authentication features. These are extremely difficult to copy and replicate for counterfeiter. Most of the liquor bottles carry anti-counterfeiting features called tax stamps on neck of their bottle (For example, security hologram or paper label with QR code). These are placed to ensure that the product is original and untampered. One can verify these codes from state excise website or via mobile app. For instance, Delhi has one such “mLiquorSaleCheck”.
Check the manufacturing and expiry date:The scariest part about fake alcohol is how vendors would buy back empty real bottles from bars and clubs, then fill those bottles with the contraband liquid. If the date seems to be way too long ago, then that is likely a recycled bottled.
Before consumption check for shade, colour and smell: Beware of inconsistency in texture, smell, and colour of the product. These are indicators if the product is fake or original. A responsible-reputed brand would never compromise on quality. Generally, alcohol smells strong, spicy, woody or fruity depending on the type you purchase. However, it will definitely not smell like nail varnish, turpentine, or chemicals – which are common scents for fake hard liquor. (IANS)
Scientists have identified 29 new genetic variants linked to problem drinking, tripling the number of known genetic risks associated with alcohol disorders.
The team from Yale University in the US identified the new variants after a genome-wide analysis of more than 435,000 people.
“The new data triple the number of known genetic risk loci associated with problematic alcohol use,” said study senior author Joel Gelernter from Yale University in the US.
In genetics, a locus (plural loci) is a specific, fixed position on a chromosome where a particular gene or genetic marker is located. The study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, includes genome-wide analysis of people of European ancestry contained in four separate biobanks or datasets.
“This gives us ways to understand causal relations between problematic alcohol use traits such as psychiatric states, risk-taking behaviour, and cognitive performance,” said study lead author Hang Zhou. “With these results, we are also in a better position to evaluate the individual-level risk for problematic alcohol use,” Gelernter noted.
For the study, the researchers looked for shared genetic variants among those who met criteria for problematic alcohol use, including alcohol use disorder and alcohol use with medical consequences.
The analysis found 19 previously unknown independent genetic risk factors for problematic alcohol use and confirmed 10 previously identified risk factors. The information allowed researchers to study shared genetic associations between problematic drinking and disorders such as depression and anxiety.
They also found genetic heritability of these variants was enriched in the brain and in evolutionarily conserved regulatory regions of the genome, attesting to their importance in biological function. (IANS)