Alcohol is bad for our health and we don’t need a doctor to tell us that. However, how much alcohol is ok has always been debatable. There have been many studies conducted on the consumption of alcohol and its impact on our bodies, but there has never been a conclusive figure or amount that we could agree on. But in the interest of good health, it is best to avoid alcohol. Because according this latest study, even moderate level of alcohol consumption may worsen the condition of heart failure patients with a faulty versions of a gene called titin, new research has found. Titin is crucial for maintaining the elasticity of the heart muscle. But faulty version of the gene may cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)– a type of heart failure where the left ventricle becomes weak causing lessening the ability to pump blood.
“Our research strongly suggests alcohol and genetics are interacting — and genetic predisposition and alcohol consumption can act together to lead to heart failure,” said study co-author James Ware from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London.
Method of study
For the first part of the study, the team analysed 141 patients with a type of heart failure called alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) — a type of heart failure due to long term alcohol abuse which may trigger because of drinking more than 70 units a week (roughly seven bottles of wine) for five years or more.
Results of the study
The team found that the faulty titin gene may also play a role in the condition. The results, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that 13.5% of ACM patients carried the mutation — much higher than the proportion of people who carry them in the general population.
Ware explained that the condition is not simply the result of alcohol poisoning, but arises from a genetic predisposition and thus can put other family members at risk as well.
According to another study, moderate alcohol drinking can in fact lower heart failure risk. But there’s a need for more study to be undertaken to conclusively claim this. Though this study was widely circulated, researchers need to find more evidence on the claim based on the kind of alcohol, amount of alcohol consumed, among other things.