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Big Drinkers Can Alter DNA, Fuel Addiction

Heavy drinking can alter DNA in ways that increase the desire for alcohol, new research suggests.

The findings may help explain why alcohol addiction is so powerful and hard to resist, say scientists.

The US team looked at two genes that play a role in the control of drinking behaviour.

One is PER2, which influences the body’s biological clock, and the other POMC, which regulates stress responses.

The scientists then checked the DNA of groups of moderate and heavy drinkers, as well as binge drinkers.

They discovered that the two genes had undergone “epigenetic” changes in both heavy and binge drinkers, but not moderate drinkers.

Rutgers University senior researcher Professor Dipak Sarkar said the DNA changes could lead to more cravings in heavy drinkers.

 

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Source: SBS News