Too much alcohol in adolescence can cause children to have depression, anxiety, and metabolic disorders The research argues that excessive consumption of alcohol in adolescents can alter the behavior of certain genes in their eventual offspring.
The females also remained sober while pregnant so that the result could not be attributed to fetal alcohol syndrome, as is known to the damage a child may have if his mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Finally, the scientists compared the results found in the offspring of those rats with those found in the offspring of others who had not been exposed to alcohol. The researchers looked at the hypothalamus of the offspring, a region of the brain that deals with various functions such as reproduction, food intake and emotional responses. There they discovered several molecular changes in DNA that can reverse the behavior of genetic switches, those in charge of activating or deactivating the genes in an organism.
For researchers who conducted the study, this research is the first to show the molecular pathway by which excessive consumption during adolescence, whether the mother or father, can also cause changes in neurological health of the following generations. Alcohol is considered too much if a man consumes five or more drinks for a period of two hours or if a woman takes four or more. In the United States, almost 90% of alcohol consumption among children under 21 years of age occurs in this way.
They found 159 changes in the offspring whose mothers were exposed to alcohol, 93 changes in those whose parents had gone through that process and 244 in cases where both had consumed too much alcohol. The changes had disrupted the switches: if the genes were normally activated, the scientists found them disabled, and vice versa. According to the World Health Organization, harmful alcohol consumption is a major cause of trauma, violence and premature death in young people.