|Blood Group Link||Non-secretors seem to be the most prone to alcoholism (1) , but their susceptibility has little to do with secretor status. In an unfortunate and possibly random cellular twist, the gene which determines whether you're a non-secretor is located on the same part of the DNA as the gene for alcoholism. Oddly enough, it is also non-secretors who seem to derive the most benefit to their hearts from a moderate intake of alcohol. The Copenhagen Male Study, which showed non-secretors to be at a higher risk for ischemic heart disease (a lack of blood flow into the arteries), theorized that moderate consumption of alcohol altered the rate of insulin flow, slowing the accumulation of fats in the blood vessels. It is also clear that alcoholism has a major stress component. A Japanese research team discovered that a greater number of Blood Type As received treatment for alcoholism than Type O or Type B. It is thought that Type As may have a predilection for seeking relaxation from stress by the ingestion of inhibition-releasing chemicals.|
There may be a link between the MN blood type and susceptibility to alcoholism. (2) A study conducted by the Alcohol and Genetics Research Program, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pa., investigated the link between six blood group markers and a putative alcoholism susceptibility gene (AS). Evidence suggested a link between susceptibility to alcoholism and those subject who had both the N gene and the M gene ( MN blood group.)
|Special Note||Alcoholism tends to run in families and genetic factors partially explain this pattern. The genes that influence the vulnerability to alcoholism are under investigation. More than 18 million Americans are alcoholics. This insidious disease has a destructive impact on every aspect of a person's life-physical, mental, and social. In addition, everyone in contact with an alcoholic is affected in some way. Studies show that there is a strong genetic component-with alcoholism four to five times more common in the biological children of alcoholics. The health consequences of alcoholism are systemic, including brain degeneration, heart disease, hypertension, nutritional deficiencies, and liver disease. Only about three percent of the alcohol a person consumes passes through the body and is excreted. The rest is metabolized by the liver and processed in the stomach and small intestines. Over time, with heavy and regular consumption, the liver begins to deteriorate. The end result can be cirrhosis of the liver, severe malnutrition from malabsorption of foods, and, ultimately, death.|
|References||1. Stigendal L., et al Journal of Clinical Pathology, July 1984. 37(7):778-82|
2. Hill SY, et al. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, Dec 1988; 12(6):811-4
3. Camps FE, Dodd BE, Lincoln PJ. Frequencies of secretors and non-secretors of ABH group substances among 1,000 alcoholic patients. Br Med J. 1969 Nov 22;4(681):457-9.