Alcohol & Genes
April 1, 2005
A new scientific study in The Pharmacogenomics Journal reveals that alcohol consumption may be influenced by genes. Researchers with the Department of Experimental Psychology at the U.K.'s University of Bristol find that the amount of alcoholic drinks people consume may be related to genetic make-up. Furthermore, that genetic coding may impact an individual's susceptibility to alcohol addiction. According to lead researcher Dr. Marcus Munafo, “Our study suggests that there's a genetic basis to certain kinds of behavior, including alcohol consumption, which may be important in influencing whether people are at an increased risk of alcohol dependence. Scientists from Bristol and Oxford universities analyzed data from almost 1,000 people, who offered details surrounding their drinking habits. One particular gene variant--a version of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2)--was strongly associated with alcohol consumption. This gene apparently influences the “high” people experience from drugs such as alcohol and, conceivably, people without this gene may drink less.