Man's fascination with alcohol has existed for thousands of years, and yet our current understanding of the inherited traits behind alcohol consumption is anything but large. Finding a gene or genes that help predict tendencies toward alcohol consumption can help lower cases of alcohol related deaths and diseases.
To find out more about genetic influences on alcohol consumption, a huge international team geared up to analyze over 100,000 individuals on their alcohol consumption, as well as genetics from genome-wide studies. What the team found was that a specific gene, β-Klotho, has an impact on an individual's tendency to desire and consume alcohol. Those with the "less common β-Klotho gene variant - present in about 40% of the participants - was tied to a lower desire to drink alcohol."
The only drawback of the study is that it had analyzed non-addictive consumption, and future studies should focus on those with alcoholism in order to understand the extreme end of alcohol consumption, and hopefully find a link between genes and alcoholism.