A Liver Hormone Regulates Your Alcohol Drinking

Posted: Nov 29 2016, 7:34am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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A Liver Hormone Regulates Your Alcohol Drinking
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  • A Gene may be Responsible for Alcohol Consumption Patterns

It has been surmised that a liver hormone called 'FGF21' may be responsible for alcohol consumption patterns in some people.

It is fun to be at a party and sing and dance while the others engage in the same amount of revelry and enjoyment. There is good food, good company and of course the alcohol flows in the midst of all of this.

Yet a drink or two more than the tolerance limits of the individual might lead to him or her getting sozzled. Scientists have found that a gene responsible for alcohol imbibing may be the causal factor behind this one-drink-too-many phenomenon.

While there are those who are teetotalars or able to stop drinking in the nick of time, others are of the sort who just go on and on and on. This never ending cycle of binging on alcohol followed by a nasty hangover the next day is very damaging to one’s health.

The gene responsible for alcohol control has been called beta-Klotho. It acts as a brake on wild drinking behavior. Mice in the lab who lacked this gene tended to drink alcoholic samples to excess. They lacked control in this one department.

People too who either have the gene missing or get in the habit tend to drink others under the table. Over 100,000 descendants of European origin were studied by the researchers.

One version of beta-Klotho caused them to drink less in the normal course of events. The switching on or off of the gene remained the crucial factor responsible for alcoholism or teetotaling behavior.

42% of the sample studied tended to avoid drinking too much alcohol. The difference amounted to a single neucleotide polymorphism or SNP.

This may play a key role in helping people overcome their alcoholism in the future. As of now, there are no drugs that suppress the desire for drink among dipsomaniacs.

The only drugs that have a limited effect are those that make the alcoholics sick. Excess in drinking alcohol is a plague and it causes untold damage to the fabric of society.

Almost 3.3 million deaths took place due to chronic alcoholism in 2012 alone. Cancer and heart disease are common in alcoholics.

Also the liver suffers immensely since alcohol acts as a poison for this organ which is a chemical factory of the body. The genetic complexities will have to be delved into in order to fight the scourge of alcoholism in the future.

Findings of this research got published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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