How too much alcohol hurts the pancreas

University Health Network researchers in Toronto have shed new light on how excessive alcohol consumption damages the pancreas. (It’s already

University Health Network researchers in Toronto have shed new light on how excessive alcohol consumption damages the pancreas. (It’s already clear how the brain, liver and heart are adversely affected.)

Rodent studies revealed that alcohol triggers a protein called VAMP8, which facilitates the leak of enzymes causing inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis. Mice without VAMP8 showed reduced pancreatitis after exposure to alcohol and carbachol.

Long-term abuse of alcohol causes 70 to 90 percent of ongoing pancreatitis cases in Western countries, according to the BC Health Guide. Symptoms of the condition include pain in the upper belly, nausea, vomiting, fever, or sweating.

While many benefits of alcohol consumption have been touted, at this time the weight of evidence suggests that you shouldn’t tip back more than one drink a day. So, make it a good one!

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