New York: Are you a heavy drinker? Take note. Besides alcohol taking a toll on your health in many ways, it may also trigger a long-lasting genetic change resulting in an even greater craving for alcohol, researchers including one of Indian-origin have warned. “We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more,” said Dipak K Sarkar, Professor at Rutgers University in the US.
“This may help explain why alcoholism is such a powerful addiction, and may one day contribute to new ways to treat alcoholism or help prevent at-risk people from becoming addicted,” said Sarkar. For the study, researchers focused on two genes implicated in the control of drinking behaviour: PER2, which influences the body’s biological clock, and POMC, which regulates our stress-response system.
By comparing groups of moderate, binge and heavy drinkers, the team found that the two genes had changed in binge and heavy drinkers through an alcohol-influenced gene modification process called methylation, according to the findings, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. In 2016, more than 3 million people died from the harmful use of alcohol. More than three-quarters of alcohol-caused deaths were among men. The harmful use of alcohol also caused 5.1 percent of disease and injuries worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. (IANS)
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