Binge Drinking Before Pregnancy May Have Negative Impact on Your Child's Health

Apr 03, 2017 11:28 AM EDT

A new study from Rutgers University revealed that women who consume large quantity of alcohol for a short period of time, even before their pregnancy, were more likely to give birth to children with high blood and sugar levels as well as increased diabetes risk.

The study, presented at the ENDO 2017: The Endocrine Society's 99th Annual Meeting & Expo, showed that binge drinking alcohol could have negative impacts to offspring.

It has been well known that drinking alcohol during pregnancy negatively affects the well-born. Side effects include birth defects and behavioral problems, However, Dipak Sarkar, Ph.D., DPhil, director of the endocrine research program at Rutgers and principal investigator of the study said in a press release that what makes this study different is that it tries to determine the negative effects of alcohol in the child's health when the mother drinks alcohol even before pregnancy.

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For the study, the researchers conducted an experiment involving two groups of mice. The first group of mice received a diet containing 6.7 percent alcohol for four weeks. The researchers then removed the alcohol from the rats' diet and bred them three weeks later. The second group of mice did not receive the alcohol and diet and served as the control group.

After reaching adulthood, the rats' offspring underwent standard laboratory techniques that monitor the levels of blood glucose, insulin, glucagon and leptin. The researchers observed that the rats born in the first group showed several signs of abnormal glucose homeostasis, which include increased blood glucose levels, decreased insulin levels in the blood and pancreatic tissue, reduced glucagon levels, and raised blood levels of leptin.

The researchers also found evidence suggesting that preconception alcohol exposure increased the expression of some inflammatory markers in pancreatic tissues. These over-expression of inflammatory markers might lower insulin production in the liver that increases blood glucose levels, resulting to altered normal glucose homeostasis.

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