Thursday, April 12, 2018

Your Genes Can Affect Your Drinking

     Your genes control a lot about yourself. From looks, height, weight, among others traits. Another trait that genetics can control is one's alcohol consumption. Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, is a compound that has been around for centuries. Ethanol comes from the fermentation by yeast in fruit juices and some sugars. It is found in most wines, beers, and spirits (gin, vodka, whiskey and rum). On a molecular level, ethanol is a depressant of the central nervous system. An addiction to ethanol can be life-threatening. Causing central nervous system depression and/or scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). Research has shown that consuming ethanol in excess can severely shorten one's life. On the other hand individuals whom drink in moderation were found to live longer than those who consumed none at all. 

     Studies on the consumption of alcohol showed that there was a correlation on how much a person drinks as well as their response to alcohol at a genetic level. Data showed that nearly 40% of individuals of Asian decent (Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese) had somewhat of a defense against alcoholism. In their genetic make-up, they lack in the production of an enzyme that assists in metabolizing ethanol. Lacking in this enzyme causes individuals to have flushed faces when drinking. In my opinion, this study could have been expanded. If researchers can develop a way to test an individuals production of that enzyme, doctors and geneticists can advise a person on taking steps toward decreasing their alcohol intake if they produce the enzyme in excess. 

Article Link:

Genetics of Alcoholism:

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mike,
    I dont rememeber from where I read it but I did hear somehing similar too what is being explaied in this article. I think its pretty interesting that because a certain enzyme is not produced by the body in some individuals it makes their tolorence to alcohol much stronger. Going back to that comment that states that "individuals whom drink in moderation were found to live longer than those who consume none at all", from what Ive read there are benefits from drinking one beer a day or one glass a day. Like you said ore research should be done on this topic.