Alcohol sensitivity

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Do you feel drunk after relatively few drinks? If so, it may be because you carry a different version of a gene than others who react less strongly to alcohol.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina estimate 10 per cent to 20 per cent of people have a version of a gene that makes them more sensitive to alcohol. And previous research shows that people who react strongly to alcohol are less likely to become alcoholics than those who had a low level of alcohol response in their early drinking experiences.

The researchers say changes in or near this gene affect the level of response to alcohol, and that provides a predictor of risk of alcoholism, and carrying this gene protects against alcoholism.

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