"Binge drinking is equivalent to consuming five or more drinks for men or four or more drinks for women, in about two hours."
New York, May 18 - Not a daily alcohol lover but love to binge drink over weekends? Threat this as a statutory warning, especially if you are a woman.
Even one night of heavy drinking can cause bacteria to leak from the gut - causing an increased level of toxins to build-up in the blood, researchers warn.
This occasional indulgence could cause permanent damage to their health.
We found that a single alcohol binge can elicit an immune response, potentially impacting the health of an otherwise healthy individual, said Gyongyi Szabo, a professor of medicine at University of Massachusetts.
The toxins released after bing drinking can cause the body to produce immune cells involved in fever, inflammation and tissue destruction.
To reach this conclusion, researchers provided 11 men and 14 women enough alcohol to raise their blood alcohol levels.
They found that the alcohol binge resulted in a rapid increase in endotoxin levels in the blood.
Endotoxins are toxins contained in the cell wall of certain bacteria that are released when the cell is destroyed.
Compared to men, women had higher blood alcohol levels and circulating endotoxin levels, the study noted.
They also found evidence of bacterial DNA in the bloodstream showing that bacteria had permeated the gut.
Binge drinking is equivalent to consuming five or more drinks for men or four or more drinks for women, in about two hours.
Over the long term, binge drinking is also known to damage the liver and other organs, the study said.