View Full Version : Alcohol habits influenced by eye color

Friday, September 10th, 2004, 03:22 AM
Alcohol habits influenced by eye color

Carin Pettersson (carin.pettersson@tv2.no) 01.09.04 09:57

A new research report indicates that eye color influence drinking habits, and people with blue eyes are more likely to drink themselves to courage in social settings.

The Nordic drinking pattern where people drink themselves into a stupor on the weekends is often criticized. Research indicates that this is hereditary and influenced by the many blue-eyed people in the Nordic region.

A research project presented by Eric Nævdal, researcher at the Agricultural University of Norway and Princeton University, indicates that there is a connection between blue eyes and drinking patterns.

Blue-eyed persons appear to be more constrained or shy in a larger degree than others and use alcohol to fight this in social settings.

According to Nævdal, a drinking pattern will evolve if there are a certain number of blue-eyed people in a setting over time and it will spread to people with brown and green eyes.

«Blue-eyes are a typical example of something that is genetically or hereditarily coded, and of the shyness is part of the package, it is also genetically coded,» Nævdal said to the Norwegian paper VG. «If we look at the prejudices that exists in Europe, this fits well with the way a person from southern Europe would describe a Scandinavian, reserved and not very proactive.»

source (http://pub.tv2.no/nettavisen/english/article273244.ece)

Friday, September 10th, 2004, 03:31 AM
Behold: a shy blue-eyed southern European. :P
( and I don't drink either ) :D

Dr. Solar Wolff
Friday, September 10th, 2004, 05:21 AM
This rings a bell. I was this way once when young but now I only drink beer and then only at home.

Years ago it was reported that far western Europeans had less control of their drinking than easterners who had some sort of genetic mechanism built- in which automatically limited their desire for more alcohol once a threshold had been reached. This lack of control is even more evident in American Indians who had no alcohol before the White man. This self-control mechanism is why Jews are seldom alcoholics and why they make fun of Europeans who are. But, the farther East, the greater this trait (according to this study), so that Japanese or Chinese are even more rarely alcoholics.
Sorry, no referencs.

Friday, September 10th, 2004, 07:42 AM
These following paragraphs explain one reason why Asians are less likely to be drinkers.

Twenty,five to 50 percent of Asians possess a gene, inactive aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2,2) (Cook and Gurling 2001; Lieber 2001), which causes them to metabolize alcohol differently from people who do not have this gene. ALDH2,2 is one of several variants of the gene that produces aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), one of two enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism. When a person with this gene drinks alcohol, ALDH2,2 leads to the slower than normal oxidation of acetaldehyde, which results in elevated levels of acetaldehyde in the blood. After drinking, people with the ALDH2,2 gene experience a constellation of physical reactions: perspiration, headache, palpitations, nausea, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), and facial flushing, which is caused by dilation of blood vessels in the face. These aversive effects are sometimes referred to collectively as the facial flushing response.

The flushing response may serve as a deterrent to drinking, and this deterrent effect may contribute to the associations observed between the ALDH2,2 gene and low rates of drinking, alcohol dependence, and alcohol,related problems (Cook and Gurling 2001). Although some variation exists in the specific alcohol consumption rates of Asian American groups, it has consistently been found that regardless of national origin, Asian American women have relatively low rates of alcohol use and problem drinking (Gilbert and Collins 1997). Thus, in prevalence studies of Asian drinking, more than half of the women of Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and Vietnamese backgrounds were abstainers (Chi et al. 1989; Padilla et al. 1993). These relatively high rates of abstention, which occur in most groups of Asian women, are likely related to facial flushing and associated reactions.

source (http://www.legacyaa.com/articles/minorityWomen.htm)

Friday, September 10th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Interesting. What evolution process do you think caused this reaction to alcohol?
Would you say it was something related to ther supposed adaptation to cold, or what?