Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gene Protects Alcoholism

Gene Protects Alcoholism

In an interesting finding, a study revealed that a gene variant detected among a tribe in Orissa has been protecting them from harmful effects of alcohol.

The study conducted by the department of anthropology at Utkal University here has showed that the Bondas — one the most primitive tribes of Orissa- are immune to the side effects of alcoholism.

Alcohol is an agent of cirrhosis of liver, toxic psychosis, gastritis, pancreatitis, cardiac myopathy and so on. But surprisingly none of these diseases are seen among the Bonda highlanders, who are addicted to different kinds alcoholic beverages.

The reason: presence of a gene variant ALDH2.

Jayant Kumar Nayak, a research scholar of Anthropological Survey of India, in association of with the Utkal University has conducted a study on Bondas to know whether they are genetically protected from alcoholism. On a proportionate random sampling, out of 25 villages, he selected nine for the study covering 714 households of 2,700 population. Genomic DNA was extracted from 110 unrelated adult Bondas by the ASI following ethical guidelines after taking their consents. Both ADH and ADLH2 genes, considered protecting variants for alcohol, were detected.

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