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Scientists Spot 'Teetotaler' Gene

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Scientists say they've identified a gene variant that dampens the desire to drink alcohol. They said their discovery might lead to the development of drugs that could control alcohol consumption, possibly even among problem drinkers. This variation of the beta-Klotho gene was pinpointed through genetic research involving more than 105,000 light and heavy social drinkers. Alcoholics were not included in the research, the study authors said. Participants provided genetic samples and answered questionnaires on their weekly drinking habits. Heavy drinking was defined as more than 21 drinks per week for men and more than 14 drinks per week for women. Light drinking was considered to be 14 drinks or less per week for men and seven drinks or less per week for women. A "drink" was the equivalent of a small glass of wine, or a half pint of beer. "The study identified a ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis

A Little Alcohol Each Day May Cut Your Risk of Stroke

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 24, 2016 – Light or moderate drinking may reduce the risk of one type of stroke but not another, while heavy drinking increases the risk of both types, a new study suggests. A research team from England and Sweden reviewed 25 studies as well as national data from Sweden. The investigators reported that consumption of up to two drinks a day was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain), but appeared to have no effect on the risk of bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, about 87 percent of strokes are ischemic strokes, while the other 13 percent are hemorrhagic. High-to-heavy drinking (two to more than four drinks a day) was associated with an added risk of both types of stroke, according to the findings published online Nov. 23 in the journal BMC Medicine. "Our results showed that heavy ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Alcohol Dependence, Transient Ischemic Attack, Alcoholism, Hangover, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Psychosis, Alcoholic Gastritis

Alcoholics May Lack Key Enzyme

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Alcoholics may lack an enzyme that would help them control their impulse to drink, a new study with rats suggests. Researchers found that turning off production of the enzyme PRDM2 in the frontal lobes of the rodents led the animals to drink alcohol, even when it was unpleasant to do so. "PRDM2 controls the expression of several genes that are necessary for effective signaling between nerve cells. When too little enzyme is produced, no effective signals are sent from the cells that are supposed to stop the impulse," said study leader Markus Heilig, head of the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience at Linkoping University in Sweden. "We see how a single molecular manipulation gives rise to important characteristics of an addictive illness," Heilig said in a university news release. "Now that we're beginning to understand what's happening, we hope we'll ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Diagnosis and Investigation, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Psychosis, Alcoholic Gastritis

Would Weaker Beer Help Reduce Alcohol's Harms?

Posted 11 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – Lowering the alcohol content in beer and other drinks may help reduce their harmful health effects, researchers say. Alcohol causes substantial disability and death worldwide. Nearly a quarter of deaths among people between the ages of 20 and 39 are alcohol-related, according to the World Health Organization. "The idea is that a small reduction in alcohol – such as beer with four percent ethanol content versus six per cent – would reduce alcohol intake per drinker even if the same overall amount of beverage is consumed," researcher Jurgen Rehm said. Rehm is director of the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. He and his colleagues concluded that lower levels of ethanol – the most harmful ingredient in alcoholic beverages – would lead to lower blood alcohol levels in drinkers. That would ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcohol Hepatitis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis with Hemorrhage, Alcoholic Psychosis

Alcohol, Obesity Could Raise Esophageal Cancer Risk

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 – Drinking plus being overweight may be a bad combo when it comes to risks for the two most common types of esophageal cancer, a new report warns. The findings suggest that in the United States, a third of esophageal cancer cases – that's about 5,600 per year – could be prevented if people maintained a healthy weight and didn't drink. "These findings add to the evidence that lifestyle plays a powerful role in cancer risk," said Alice Bender, head of nutrition at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). "Obesity is now linked to 11 types of cancer and alcohol links to six," she said in an institute news release. "We want individuals to know you can take important lifestyle steps to reduce risk for many kinds of cancer." In the new report, experts at the AICR and the World Cancer Research Fund reviewed 46 studies involving more than 15 million adults, ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Cancer, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Hangover, Head and Neck Cancer, Esophageal Carcinoma, Alcoholic Gastritis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Why Heavy Drinking Seems to Boost Desire to Smoke More

Posted 19 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2016 – The reason alcoholics struggle to stop smoking may be because their heavy drinking speeds up how quickly their body breaks down nicotine, a new study suggests. "Our study showed that chronic heavy alcohol consumption may lead to an increase in the rate of nicotine metabolism, which could be one contributing factor to the poor smoking cessation rates in smokers addicted to alcohol," said senior study author Maciej Goniewicz. Nicotine metabolism is the term used to describe how quickly a body breaks down this addictive substance. People who break down nicotine more slowly may have an easier time quitting because the nicotine stays in their body longer. But, the investigators found, alcohol appears to speed up the breakdown of nicotine. For the study, the researchers measured markers (such as cotinine) that indicated nicotine levels among male smokers in Poland ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Hangover, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Alcoholic Gastritis, Nicorette DS, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Jello Shots While Underage, Bigger Booze Problems Later?

Posted 29 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 – Many underage Americans down jello shots, and these young drinkers are more likely to binge drink, drink heavily and get into alcohol-fueled fights, researchers say. The Boston University researchers surveyed more than 1,000 alcohol users, aged 13 to 20, and found that just over 20 percent had consumed jello shots in the past 30 days. Rates were slightly higher among females than males, and higher among those from homes with lower incomes and those without internet access. Compared to those who did not consume jello shots, users consumed alcohol an average of slightly more than two more days per week and had more drinks per month (31 versus 19). In addition, jello shot users got into more fights after consuming alcohol (close to 19 percent versus 9.5 percent), the study found. But the study did not prove that consuming these alcohol-laced concoctions caused ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcohol Hepatitis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis with Hemorrhage, Alcoholic Psychosis

Alcohol, Processed Meats May Raise Stomach Cancer Risk

Posted 21 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 – Alcohol, processed meats – such as hot dogs, ham and bacon – and excess weight all may raise a person's risk of stomach cancer, a new review finds. Further, the risk seems to increase as a person drinks more alcohol, or eats more processed meats or gains more weight, the review states. It was released Wednesday by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. The review concludes that in the United States, about one in seven stomach cancer cases could be prevented if people did not drink more than three alcoholic drinks a day, did not eat processed meat and maintained a healthy weight. That's approximately 4,000 stomach cancer cases every year. "This is the first report to find strong evidence of these links," said Alice Bender, head of nutrition programs at the cancer institute. "There are things we can do to lower our ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Alcohol Dependence, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Alcoholism, Hangover, Stomach Cancer, Alcoholic Gastritis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Frequent Monitoring May Keep Alcohol Offenders Sober

Posted 10 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 – A South Dakota program that requires people involved in alcohol-linked crimes to stay away from booze and be closely monitored for drinking appears to reduce deaths, a new study finds. Offenders in the program must undergo breathalyzer tests twice a day or wear bracelets that continuously check for alcohol. Those who skip or fail the tests are immediately jailed for a short time, typically a day or two, the study authors said. The 24/7 Sobriety Program was launched as a pilot program in 2005 and was associated with a 4 percent drop in deaths at the county level. The largest reductions occurred among causes of death linked with excessive drinking, such as circulatory conditions, according to RAND Corp. researchers. "Our findings suggest that criminal justice interventions that reduce heavy alcohol consumption may, in turn, influence mortality," lead author and ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcohol Hepatitis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis with Hemorrhage, Alcoholic Psychosis

Chronic Drinking Plus Binge Drinking Spurs Rapid Liver Damage in Mouse Study

Posted 30 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2015 – Chronic drinking combined with binge drinking quickly damages the liver, and is more destructive than previously thought, a new study with mice suggests. "Heavy binge drinking by those who habitually consume alcohol is the most common cause of liver damage in chronic alcoholic liver disease," lead author Shivendra Shukla, a professor of medical pharmacology and physiology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "We know that this behavior causes large fatty deposits in the liver that ultimately impair the organ's ability to function properly. However, we wanted to understand the mechanism that causes this damage and the extent of the harm," Shukla said. "Our research focused on different forms of alcohol abuse and the results of those behaviors," he explained. Shukla and his colleagues looked at how chronic alcohol ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcohol Hepatitis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis with Hemorrhage, Alcoholic Psychosis

Women Starting to Match Men's Drinking Habits, Study Finds

Posted 24 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 – American women are catching up to men when it comes to using and abusing alcohol, a new government report shows. The researchers analyzed data from 2002 to 2012 and found that reported alcohol consumption in the previous 30 days rose among women, from almost 45 percent to more than 48 percent, while it fell among men, from slightly more than 57 percent to just over 56 percent. "We found that over that period of time, differences in measures such as current drinking, number of drinking days per month, reaching criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year, all narrowed for females and males," study leader Aaron White, senior scientific advisor to the director of the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), said in an institute news release. "Males still consume more alcohol, but the ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Alcoholic Gastritis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Tough Alcohol Policies Linked to Lower Death Rates From Liver Damage

Posted 15 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2015 – States with strong alcohol control policies have lower death rates connected to alcohol-related liver damage, a new study finds. Researchers gave states scores based on their alcohol control policies, such as taxes, retail price restrictions and hours-of-sale limits. The stronger the policies, the higher the score. A 10-point increase in the score was associated with 9 percent fewer alcoholic cirrhosis deaths among all women, the investigators found. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. When American Indian/Alaska Natives were not included, a 10-point increase in a state's alcohol policy score was associated with 11 percent fewer deaths in both sexes, and 18 percent fewer alcoholic cirrhosis deaths among women alone, the findings showed. The strongest link between alcohol policies and alcoholic cirrhosis death rates was in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cirrhosis, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcohol Hepatitis

Former Problem Drinkers Find It Tricky to Navigate Social Settings: Study

Posted 25 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 25, 2015 – When former problem drinkers are socializing, they use a number of methods to let others know they don't drink, a small new study finds. Researchers interviewed 11 former problem drinkers who had been sober for between one and 19 years. Many of the study participants said they tried to avoid the issue altogether. Methods included posing as a drinker by holding a cup but not drinking, or simply refusing offers to drink without saying why. If asked why they were not drinking, some cited health problems or said they were taking medications that couldn't be used with alcohol. Some used humor to change the subject, the researchers found. A few of the former drinkers said they were open about their history of problem drinking, particularly if they thought it would get them out of a situation that threatened their sobriety, or if they believed it would help other ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Liver Damage, Alcoholic Gastritis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Psychosis

Heavy Drinking Linked to Greater Risk for Alcohol-Related Cancers

Posted 16 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16, 2015 – Heavy drinking increases the risk for injury and alcohol-related cancers, a new study reports. Strategies are needed to curb alcohol abuse, particularly in low-income countries, the Canadian researchers said in the study published Sept. 16 in The Lancet. "Our data support the call to increase global awareness of the importance of harmful use of alcohol and the need to further identify and target the modifiable determinants of harmful alcohol use," study author Dr. Andrew Smyth, of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Ontario, said in a journal news release. Previous studies on alcohol use were conducted primarily in high-income countries, the researchers pointed out. This time, the investigators analyzed the link between alcohol intake and health outcomes in 12 countries with different economic levels. The high-income countries ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Gastritis

Virtual Reality May Help Alcoholics Beat Cravings, Study Finds

Posted 24 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 – Virtual reality therapy may help alcoholics battle their addiction, a small study from South Korea suggests. Researchers recruited 12 people being treated for alcoholism for the study. The volunteers went through a week-long detoxification program and then did two sessions of virtual reality therapy a week for five weeks. The patients were presented with three virtual scenes: a relaxing environment; a high-risk setting in a restaurant where other people were drinking; and an aversion situation that featured the sights, sounds and smells of people getting sick from drinking too much. PET and CT brain scans suggested that the patients had a reduced craving for alcohol after the virtual reality therapy, according to the study. The research is published in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. While it was a small study, the findings ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Gastritis, Alcohol Hepatitis

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