When we think about alcohol and genes, the 'Asian Flush' might come to mind, but the amount of alcohol a person may consume can also be influenced by our DNA. In fact, while cultural norms and the social environment undoubtedly play crucial roles in our drinking behavior, around half of the variability in drinking behavior can be explained by genetics.
In several studies involving populations from East Asia as well as Europe, investigators detected a significant association between alcohol consumption and variants of several genes. Namely, variants in the 12q24 region (including variation in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene) among East Asians and variants in the autism susceptibility candidate 2 (AUTS2) gene among Europeans are implicated in influencing consumption behavior. For instance, in a study involving Chinese participants, when there was greater expression of the minor variant at a specific locus of the 12q24 region, this corresponded with a decrease in drinking.
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Can't put that bottle down? Find out on Genomelink whether you are genetically predisposed to drink more alcohol.