How Binge Drinking Causes Long-Term Harm

If the occasional night out with friends leads to excessive drinking, you may have more than a hangover to worry about: Binge drinking is now linked to insulin resistance, which in turn could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

The new research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine is based on animal studies, but it’s the first to isolate alcohol use from overeating, which often goes along with excessive drinking. Rats were treated with alcohol for three days to simulate human binge drinking, then tested for glucose tolerance. The alcohol-treated rats showed signs of insulin resistance not seen in control animals.

Binge drinking even once a week, for years at a time, could result in long-term harm, say experts.