The biological clock that regulates different hormonal activity thereby regulating sleep/awake cycle and other things may get deranged by chronic alcohol drinking.
Chronic Drinking Linked to Circadian Disruptions
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) — Chronic drinking can disrupt production of the genes that control the body’s daily biological (circadian) rhythms, leading to problems such as sleep disruption and mood changes, new research reports.
This indicates that alcoholics have lower levels of circadian clock gene production (or what researchers call “expression”), according to the study published online and in the November print issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
“In other words, chronic alcohol consumption was associated with a destruction of normal circadian clock gene expression. This altered expression is closely related to circadian rhythm dysfunction and might link to a variety of physiological problems, such as sleep/wake cycle dysregulation, depression, and even cancer,” study corresponding author Sy-Jye Leu, a researcher at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, said in a journal news release.
“This provides the first human evidence that chronic drinking can have long-term damaging effects on the expression of circadian rhythm-responsible genes. It also lends clinical support to previous reports of circadian rhythm dysregulation as a consequence of chronic drinking,” Leu added.
SOURCE: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, news release, Aug. 24, 2010