Too Much Drinking, Too Much Eating

Piles of research on alcohol; a little research on obesity.

Having just written Alcohol, Sexual Attraction, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Performance, about excessive alcohol consumption by male fruit flies and its effects on sexual behavior, I am amused to find this in my newsy inbox:

Gene therapy can reduce long-term drinking among rodents from PhysOrg.com
“An ‘experiment of nature’ is observed in some individuals of East Asian origin, who are 66 to 99 percent protected against alcoholism,” explained Yedy Israel, professor of pharmacological and toxicological chemistry at the Universidad de Chile, and adjunct professor of pathology, anatomy and cell biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

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If you read the post on fruit flies, you will know that the researchers suggest a link between dopamine and response to alcohol. Well, imagine my surprise when I found this in my newsy inbox:

The dopamine transporter gene influences alcohol withdrawal seizures from PhysOrg.com
“People with alcoholism continue to die because of complications related to withdrawal symptoms, mainly delirium tremens – delirium associated with visual hallucinations – and /or seizures,” said Philip Gorwood, professor of psychiatry at INSERM and corresponding author for the study.

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But where does it all start? How do humans ever get indoctrinated into the habit of alcohol consumption. I mean, I can understand it with fruit flies as they are always flying around fruit, which ferments. But humans? Maybe it starts in childhood.

Children are introduced to sipping and tasting alcohol in the home from PhysOrg.com
“Almost all of the limited scientific literature on alcohol use in children has focused on drinking, not sipping or tasting alcohol,” said John E. Donovan, an associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. “Local community studies seem to show that drinking by children – not sipping – correlates with higher levels of disinhibition, more positive alcohol expectancies, more peer alcohol use, and lower school grades, just as it does in adolescence.”

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… or maybe it starts later in life. Like in college…

Inside college parties: surprising findings about drinking behavior from PhysOrg.com
“Most studies use survey methods that require people to recall their drinking behavior – days, weeks or months prior – and such recall is not always accurate,” noted J.D. Clapp, director of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies and Services at San Diego State University and corresponding author for the study.

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And, as promised, a couple of tidbits on overeating.

Mom’s obesity during conception phase may set the stage for offspring’s obesity risk from PhysOrg.com
The number of overweight and obese Americans continues to grow rapidly. Today, 50 percent of adults are overweight and up to 20 percent are obese. While the number of overweight/obese children is at an all time high, the steady increase of overweight infants — individuals under 11 months old — is alarming.

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A person predisposed to believe that everything behavioral is genetic might interpret this form of heritibilitiy incorrectly.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Human hormone blocker found to help prevent obesity and diabetes: study from PhysOrg.com
A new study finds that a chemical found in the body is capable of promoting weight loss, improving insulin resistance and reversing diabetes in an animal model. The hormone is gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) receptor blockade.

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That is all for now. You may go back to your eating and drinking.

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