View Full Version : Genetic study suggests humans may be evolving in a way that prevents alcoholism

22-02-18, 00:58
Humans are, of course, still evolving, which suggests studies looking into the ways we are evolving might be important. In this new effort, Johnson and Voight analyzed genetic data (https://phys.org/tags/genetic+data/) from the over 2,500 people whose DNA ended was used in the 1000 Genomes Project. More specifically, they looked for emerging variants in different population groups that might shed some light on the evolutionary changes (https://phys.org/tags/evolutionary+changes/) that we are currently undergoing. They report that they were able to identify five genetic "hot spots"—resistance to malaria in African populations, an amino acid change in Europeans, two sections of DNA left over from interbreeding with Neanderthals, and finally, an ADH variant.

The ADH gene is responsible for inducing production of alcohol dehydrogenase (https://phys.org/tags/alcohol+dehydrogenase/), an enzyme that breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then converted to acetate by another process. The researchers note that the variants seem to protect against alcoholism, though how that might happen is still unclear. They theorize that it might break down alcohol faster, causing drinkers to feel sick almost right away—a side-effect that would almost certainly deter drinkers from further consumption.

They further theorize that it is possible that over the past 1000 years or so, people, particularly those in their reproductive years, who drank a lot wound up killing themselves off before reproducing—a trend still in evidence today as young people who drink and drive frequently wind up dead before they have a chance to make babies.

The researchers report that there was an anomaly in the data, however—ADH variants were not nearly as prevalent in European and American populations as they were in others. They suggest this might have been due to overlooking the markers in the data.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-02-genetic-humans-evolving-alcoholism.html#jCp

22-02-18, 07:00
There might be even more variants that protect some of us from alcoholism. From my observations I believe there is a allele that helps some of us to digest alcohol faster (like Europeans), allowing more drinking but making sobering up faster and ready for work in the morning. There is another one that protects from binge drinking, like in Southern Europeans. Glass or two of wine a day is enough, more drinking doesn't feel good for some reason. There are also many of South Europeans or Mediterraneans in general that really dislike alcohol and never drink.
Why is moderate drinking or non drinking so popular in Mediterranean area? They have longest tradition of alcohol making in the world, and had good few thousand years of time to develop protective mutations. On other side of the spectrum are various groups of hunter gatherers who never knew alcohol and never needed to develop them, ...well, till the met the white men.

25-02-18, 09:08
that is big truth,

Alchool at S Europe, At least my country,
is supposed to 'warm the heart', meaning to bring joy, and is good anti-stress,
So we avoid to drink alone, and always drink to celebrate, or to relax with friends,
except the olders, above 50, most doctors suggest 1 drink every day or every second day for the heart,
30 ml for strong drinks, 60-70 ml for wine.

Youngers say the bellow when gather to drink, so to keep calm and social.
1 is nothing
4 'brings the fight' the drinker becomes hostile, LEAVE THE COMPANY, GO TO SLEEP
5 jetsam/floatsam. you are already a wreck of your shelf. GO TO HOSPITAL

But modern driving alchool test do not allow us to drink 2,
It is consider to much at modern times.

an advice to Drinkers,
except for cases that you can not sleep, 30 ml strong alchool is good for occasional help,
but if problem continues, then advice a doctor.