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Scientists Discover Gene Influencing Alcohol Consumption

Scientists have discovered that those possessing the gene AUTS2 consume five percent less alcohol than those lacking the gene, researchers at the Genome Center of the University of Tartu confirmed.

The research which was led by two London universities analyzed the genetic samples of 48,000 people, including 1,000 Estonians, ETV reported.

"It may be only five percent less, but when we look at the statistics in Estonia, this means one liter less vodka [per person] each year, which is not a small amount," said Tõnu Esko, researcher at the center.

If until now alcohol consumption has been associated with dehydrogenase, or the body’s ability to break down alcohol particles, then this gene works mostly in the brain. "For people who drink five percent less, the pleasant sensation [from alcohol] is not as strong. This literally means that they will have an intense headache and hangover in the morning, but they do not remember how fun the party was the night before," Esko explained.

The new discovery enables scientists to research more thoroughly the role genes play in alcohol consumption and develop more effective treatments for alcoholism.


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