A Rutgers University study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research reveals the possibility that heavy and binge drinking may cause genetic changes that increase the craving for alcohol.
“This may help explain why alcoholism is such a powerful addiction, and may one day contribute to new ways to treat alcoholism or help prevent at-risk people from becoming addicted.” According to the lead author of the study, Distinguished Professor Dipak K. Sarkar.
In the study, two genes were compared in three groups of drinkers: moderate, binge, and heavy. Researchers discovered that the genes in subjects of the latter two categories had been modified through a process called methylation. This process is triggered by alcohol on a genetic level.
It is believed that this research may lead to the identification of biomarkers that show an individual’s propensity to become a binge or heavy drinker.