Research Explains How Alcohol Damages DNA And Increases Cancer Risk

The fact that alcohol increases your riskthe occurrence of cancer in humans, is well known to scientists for several decades. But how exactly alcoholic beverages lead to this - science did not give a clear answer. A new study by Cambridge University researchers first shed light on this process and proved that alcohol damages DNA, which in turn leads to cancer.

Scientists have long suggested thatacetaldehyde arising from the breakdown of alcohol by the liver is responsible for increasing the chances of cancer in the body. Everyone knows that this substance is toxic, so there was nothing surprising in this assumption. As part of a new study, scientists injected ethanol into laboratory mice, after which they observed changes in their bodies through DNA sequencing and analysis. The experiment clearly demonstrated that acetaldehyde damages DNA in blood stem cells, which increases the risk of several types of cancer several times.

"Some types of cancer develop due toDNA damage in stem cells. And although some injuries occur accidentally from a number of other factors, our study proves that regular alcohol consumption significantly increases this risk, ”says Ketan Patel, lead author of the study.

Scientists also explored how the bodycopes with a sudden influx of acetaldehyde. This substance is destroyed in the body by a number of enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH). Some people have defective ALDH enzymes, so their body is not able to effectively cleanse acetaldehyde after drinking alcohol. The accumulation of this substance in their bodies can lead to even more severe damage to DNA. When alcohol was given to mice with defective enzymes, their DNA was destroyed four times more actively than in rodents with functional ALDH.

This study clearly describes for the first timea mechanism that binds alcohol and cancer. At the moment, science closely links the seven types of cancer that alcohol consumption leads to. This is cancer of the oral cavity, cancer of the throat, larynx, esophagus, cancer of the breast, liver and intestines. Further research by a group of scientists from Cambridge should find out why it is these, and not other types of oncology, that most often persecute alcohol lovers. The results of the study can be read in the journal Nature.