Wednesday 19 September, 2018

Binge drinking in youth may affect your children

Those nights of getting completely wasted in your youth may come back to haunt you, or rather, your children.

A new study has found that binge drinking may have negative effects on your offspring.

A rat model found preconception binge drinking may have negative consequences on future offspring's growth, social interactions and pubertal development, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of the Endocrine Society.

The report said binge drinking during adolescent development can have long-lasting effects in the brain, and recent data show that these effects may directly impact the first-generation offspring. 

“Our animal study demonstrates that drinking large quantities of alcohol in a ‘binge’ fashion before pregnancy can impact future offspring,” said the study’s senior author, Toni Pak, Ph.D., of Loyola University Chicago in Maywood, Ill. “Importantly, this is true for drinking behaviours of both parents, not just the mother. Our previous data support the idea that alcohol is affecting the parental sperm and eggs to induce these modifications in the offspring, but this most recent work shows the extent of those effects on social behaviour, pubertal maturation, and stress hormones as the offspring grow to adulthood.”

Researchers found that a rat model of binge-pattern drinking during puberty had several consequences for the animals’ offspring, including smaller body weight, fewer play behaviours, and decreased circulating testosterone. In addition, the parents did not pass down to the offspring any adaptive traits that allowed them to better tolerate alcohol.

“By better understanding which parental preconception behaviours impact future generations, we can do more to prevent their perpetuation,” Pak said.

Other authors of the study include: AnnaDorothea Asimes and Chun Kim of Loyola University Chicago; and Amelia Cuarenta and Anthony Auger of University of Wisconsin – Madison in Madison, Wis.

The study was supported by research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The study, “Binge Drinking and Intergenerational Implications: Parental Preconception Alcohol Impacts Offspring Development in Rats,” will be published online.