Does having light-colored eyes make you more susceptible to alcoholism?
This is a questions a recent study published this month in the recent volume of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics undertakes to find out. The hypothesis suggested by researches from the University of Vermont was that the population of people with light-colored eyes may have more occurrences of alcoholism than those with dark eye colors. Most individuals with light colored eyes are also of European ancestry, which is a possible cultural reason as to why they consume more alcohol than other individuals.
Upon further study, there were signs linking dependence on alcohol to blue eyes-having individuals in the research study. This shows that there is a higher risk factor involved in being susceptible to alcoholism if you have blue eyes rather than brown. Although having lighter-colored eyes still exacerbates a tendency toward alcoholism, the strongest pull has been seen in blue eye colored subjects.
How did this link get discovered?
The connection from having blue eyes to alcoholism may seem farfetched, but the two traits share the same chromosome. The study sampled a pool of 1,263 European Americans, and from there, after taking into account several different factors, found numerous genetic interactions between the two. Thereby, the finding gave some solidity to the theory that was postulated at the beginning of the study- that individuals with eyes of lighter colors may be more susceptible to alcoholism.
What does this mean for everyone else?
Although further testing of the results and theory will be needed, this finding by the researchers may help to understand alcoholism on the genetics level, as well as predisposition, psychology of addiction, and many more aspects. You don’t have to have blue eyes to see or feel the pain that alcohol abuse is causing. Alcoholism today affects many communities on both a small and large scale, which has complications that may be fatal if not dealt with correctly. Alcoholism very often disrupts family dynamics, and heightens the younger generation’s predisposition to alcoholism as a result of family history.
Only time will tell what else this study can inform the masses, scientists, and researchers about the roots of alcoholism and all that it entails.