Discover offers new ways to treat and prevent alcoholism.
Many people, unfortunately, enjoy the joy of alcohol. This knowledge is nothing new. In our body, however, alcohol makes much more harm than we have thought so far.
Scientists from Rutgers University have provided a possible explanation why alcoholism is so highly addicted. They found that heavy alcoholics changed the DNA. This encourages them for further regret.
The taste of alcohol also has an impact on the current situation. Most alcoholics want to drink after the trauma.
The study was published by Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Dependence on alcohol
Researchers from Rutgers University examine how often drinking alcohol affects human DNA. They focused on two genes: PER2 and Proopiomelanocortin (POMC). PER2 affects the biological clock of the body and POMC regulates the stress system.
47 volunteers were enrolled in the study. Scientists divide them into three groups. The first included light alcoholics. There were men who did not drink more than 14 standard drinks a week. One standard beverage is 30 ml of 40% distillate.
The second group includes medium beacons. At least once a month they drink five or more standard beverages. The last group consisted of heavy drinkers who drank more than 15 standard drinks a week.
Women also participated in the study, but the criteria for inclusion in the groups were half that of men. For example, a woman who does not drink more than seven standard drinks a week is considered a mild alcoholic.
Scientists first took blood samples to investigate DNA methylation. This is a process associated with the emergence of new genes.
Subsequent analysis showed that moderate and heavy drinkers generate PER2 and POMC genes. Also, the rate at which these genes produce proteins is slowed down.
The volunteers were then presented with photos showing good experiences, stressful situations and alcohol-related events.
After each of these three sessions, they offered two liters of beer filled with beer. Testing people had to appreciate how much they wanted for alcohol on a scale of 0 to 10. Zero meant totally and 10 exclusive.
She followed the tasting – she had to know if the beers of the same brand were in the glasses. If they answer correctly, they can drink as much as they want, and scientists can record the amount of beer consumed. Based on this, they appreciated the true desire for alcohol.
Changes in DNA and increased appetite for alcohol
The analysis of the results showed that alcohol is most desirable for people with heavy drinks and less moderate drinkers. At the same time, the motivation for further regret was the highest when the participants saw photos showing stressful situations. This observation is interpreted by researchers as a consequence of genetic changes in DNA.
Finally, findings can help to identify variables such as proteins or modified genes to predict the risk of the individual being severely drunk.
Our findings show that a person with frequent alcohol consumption can change DNA. As a result, alcohol will be more desirable, says lead author Dipak Sarkar.
This can explain why alcoholism is so highly addicted. Our results can also contribute to new ways to treat alcoholism. Ultimately, they will help prevent people from overcoming this addiction.