Heath

When Once Is More than Enough!

A new study finds that when young people binge drink alcohol, it disrupts their immune system, and that disruption happens more quickly than drinkers might think.

Published in December in the journal, Alcohol, the study found that within just two hours of young, healthy adults drinking up to five shots of vodka, their immune systems were less active than when sober. The findings are particularly relevant as binge drinking increases the risk of a number of injuries that might land young people in the emergency room, where physicians could benefit from knowing that a patient’s immune system may be impaired due to too much alcohol. Majid Afshar, MD, MSCR, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor within the Loyola University Chicago Departments of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, said the findings illustrate the importance of asking about a patient’s alcohol consumption. He added that some patients are likely arriving at trauma centers with alcohol-related injuries at a time when their healing capacity is weakened.

“This supports the idea that physicians should be aware of these patients and be more aggressive in how they treat them,” Afshar said.

To conduct the study, researchers recruited eight women and seven men, with an average age of 27, who each drank enough vodka shots to meet the definition of binge drinking, which was defined as reaching or exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit for driving. Study participants’ blood was collected and tested before drinking as well as 20 minutes, two hours and five hours after peak intoxication. The study found that 20 minutes after peak intoxication, participants’ immune systems exhibited increased activity; however, at the two- and five-hour marks, their immune systems exhibited decreased activity. The study found that such effects happen after just one episode of binge drinking.

“The clinical impacts of these changes are not yet known but occurred during the post-alcohol ingestion time frame when trauma victims are exposed to (internal) activators of inflammation and microbial pathogens,” the study concluded.

Afshar said that while he and his colleagues expected some type of immune system disruption, they were surprised that it occurred so quickly. From a public health perspective, he said the study’s findings are another reason to support alcohol-related education and prevention efforts.

“The idea that one single episode of binge drinking can cause such a significant disruption — it’s something we can take to the public and show them that there are harms even for those who don’t consider themselves problem drinkers,” Afshar told The Nation’s Health. “We need to do a better job on educating the public about the harmful effects of heavy drinking in people who otherwise consider themselves healthy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month and consumes about eight drinks per episode. Binge drinking is more common among adults ages 18 to 34, with more than half of the alcohol consumed in the U.S. drunk in the form of binge drinking.

Study: One episode of binge drinking enough to weaken immune system. The Nation’s Health. http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/45/1/E3.full

Pathophysiology of Incest

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord, (Leviticus 18:6).

In the book, The Perfect Prescription, incest is described as the sexual abuse of another human being by a close family member or relative. Incest can also take place between related and quasi-related individuals. Author and researcher, Dr. Christine A. Courtois observes that when the perpetrator of an incestuous relationship is older and much bigger or stronger or has the advantage of power differential, such as a parent with a child, a grandparent with a grandchild, an aunt with a nephew, or an uncle with a niece, then that incestuous expression becomes child abuse, too. Incest offenders usually prey on the trust of their victim and use it to manipulate them into submission. The effects of incestuous relationships on the victim can last a lifetime. Victims of incest tend to have emotional, relational and sexual scars that outlast the physical scars. The findings of a study by Bushnell and associates conducted among women aged 18-44 in New Zealand to assess potential long-term effects of intrafamilial sexual abuse during their childhood years demonstrated that incestuous sexual abuse during childhood were significantly associated with increased mental problems including depression, bulimia, and anxiety. The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault Fact Sheet states that in the United, 46% of children who are raped are raped by their own family members and about 61% of victims of rape are raped before they are 18. Twenty-nine percent of these rapes take place when the victims are below 11 years old. About 11% of rape victims are raped by their own fathers or step fathers. Societal taboo against incest forces the victims to carry and keep to themselves this violation for many years. A child who is raped away from home can run home for safety and support but a child, who is sexually abused by a person at home, in the same family, has nowhere to run to for security. Sexual abuse by a father is one of the deepest betrayals a child can experience because, in the balance of power in the family, the father is a symbol of authority and security. Fathers betray their roles as protectors of their families when they rape their children. The father is supposed to protect everybody who comes under his roof from such violations. He is the head of the family, and power and authority differentials are skewed in his favor. Therefore, when the father becomes the perpetrator, the children feel trapped. An abused child has very little knowledge about therapeutic resources that might exist outside the family. As a consequence, recovery from the violation becomes very difficult. Although in all cases of incest, the survivors of incest know that there was nothing they could have done to prevent it, they still experience a sense of guilt and shame because of their involvement.

God foresaw millennia ago the devastation caused by incest, particularly to the victim and warned against it even before science discovered its adverse effects.

Learn more about the negative health outcomes of incestuous relations. Check out the book, The Perfect Prescription by Reigh Simuzoshya at: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k