Heavy Alcohol Consumption Connected to Chemical Changes in Genes

heavy drinking linked to chemical changes in genes

A new study, conducted by researchers from Rutgers University, finds chemical changes in two significant genes with heavy and binge drinking adults.

For the study, two genes, hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and Per2, were analyzed in blood samples taken from 47 volunteers who participated in larger experiment on drinking behaviors. The group of volunteers included non-smoking moderate consumers, alcohol bingers, or heavy drinkers.

The analysis showed that there is a tendency for Per2 and POMC genes among binge- and heavy drinkers to be methylated. This process of gumming up a gene with a molecule is described as an epigenetic change. The gene’s code remains the same, but its expression is altered. In this case, the methylation forced the genes to decrease their expression.

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