WOMEN are more likely to be binge drinkers as their hormones give a greater buzz from booze, experts say.
Fluctuating levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen respond to alcohol by activating dopamine — the chemical that gives the brain its feelgood factor.
In a study on mice, neuroscientists found alcohol was more rewarding to the female rodents than the males.
But when oestrogen receptors were reduced in the females, so was the feelgood factor.
Women will consume less alcohol than men over an average lifetime but figures show they are more likely to suffer from problem drinking.
As a result, they are also more susceptible to alcohol-related illnesses as well as bodily harm, a study said.
US researchers from the University of Illinois said hormonal differences may be why women are more likely to see a boozing habit “spiral” into binge drinking.
Psychiatrist Amy Lasek said: “If alcohol drinking is higher during times when oestrogen levels are elevated, this can contribute to both the health risks of alcohol drinking and increase the likelihood of developing severe alcohol drinking problems.”
The study suggests that women could be treated with gender-specific treatments for alcohol disorders caused by binge drinking.
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