2

votes

Is Alcoholism partially genetic, and can diet prevent it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 16, 2013 at 1:17 AM

According to the book I bought, "Genetic Nutrition," alcoholism is largely determined by genetic make-up, along with environmental adaptations, and social background.Interestingly enough, many American Indians, like Asians (their genetic ancestors), carry the gene that causes flushing in response to alcohol. This flushing. in Asians, seems to deter alcoholism, yet in many American Indians, it doesn't deter alcoholism. I have read that sometimes the body actually develops an addiction or craving for what it is allergic to; hence, Asians who perhaps eat less grains have less craving for alcohol? And Native Americans who have incorporated white flour have more craving for alcohol? Is this legit? Do you think that a proper diet can curb the genetic predisposition for alcoholism?

Fa4b934bc224b17784fe0ee36d153dcd

(168)

on August 27, 2013
at 04:02 PM

Funny that you mention the connection between alcoholism and other addictive behaviors. I just read a biography of John Cheever and he was an alcoholic, chain-smoking, bisexual sex-addict! He chronicled all of this in his typed 10K page journal, which he compulsively maintained...

Fa4b934bc224b17784fe0ee36d153dcd

(168)

on August 27, 2013
at 03:59 PM

My mother drank heavily while pregnant but also ate a lot of healthy meats & vegetables. I test in the top 1% and have no signs of the syndrome, but I do have intense sugar cravings, never gain weight, and am nauseated by the smell of alcohol. There are clearly epigenetic effects from drinking while pregnant, but its fascinating to know that nutrition can offset most of the damage.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:05 PM

@Vabelle, how is starting something you know is addictive and detrimental to your health not a lack of self control? Once someone becomes dependent on something it becomes an addiction which is only part self-control. But that first drink is 1000% a lack of self-control without any doubt. Once you continue to drink it and become addicted to it then it takes more and more self-control to quit.

8bf17cdd5e9ce249d9c119012c496f86

(71)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:33 PM

No. Its not a lack of self-control. This comment is borderline offensive.

B320ee8e0947b27f158e86aacbec353e

(101)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:25 PM

Scott Hall moved in with Page 3 months ago and was in bad shape with a hip injury which he very recently had surgery to correct. Because of the injury, Hall hasn't been able to do any yoga or exercise. Despite this, he has been following the diet and staying away from drugs and alcohol and now seems much happier and healthier. He and Jake haven't been craving drugs or alcohol since and Jake is even considering a return to pro wrestling. There are a few videos about Jake and Scott, the diet and cooking, the yoga and more at youtube.com/dallapage if you're interested.

B320ee8e0947b27f158e86aacbec353e

(101)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:22 PM

There's also a story related to addiction and the Paleo Diet you might find interesting. You may have hard of "Diamond" Dallas Page, professional wrestler and creator of DDP yoga. Over half a year ago, Dallas invited wrestlers Jake Roberts, and recently Scott Hall, to move into his house and get healthy. Jake and Scott were both serious addicts and alcoholics and were at rock bottom. After just 6 months of modified paleo diet, DDP Yoga and regular AA meetings, Jake had lost over 50 pounds, regained muscle mass and flexibility and most importantly, has not succumbed to addiction and is happier.

B320ee8e0947b27f158e86aacbec353e

(101)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:57 AM

There's also a story related to addiction and the Paleo Diet you might find interesting. You may have hard of "Diamond" Dallas Page, professional wrestler and creator of DDP yoga. Over half a year ago, Dallas invited wrestlers Jake Roberts, and recently Scott Hall, to move into his house and get healthy. Jake and Scott were both serious addicts and alcoholics and were at rock bottom. After just 6 months of the Paleo diet, DDP Yoga and regular AA meetings, Jake had lost over 50 pounds, regained muscle mass and flexibility and most importantly, has not succumbed to addiction and is happier.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:35 AM

And jimmy , go justify your addictive behavior somewhere else.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:32 AM

Alcoholism is not genetic. Alcoholism is passed down through family members because families that drink together, become alcoholics together.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:31 AM

Alcoholism is a lack of self-control.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:22 AM

Loose *

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:21 AM

Lol Raney, you sure are pretty confident that I'm completely wrong considering there only seems to be lost epidemiological evidence supporting your claim... http://www.soberforever.net/addiction-genetics.cfm , http://www.booksie.com/health_and_fitness/essay/taylorzebra94/alcoholism-is-not-genetic-by-taylor-wright . Maybe you guys can instead of down voting my answer, take some responsibility for your lives, eat properly, exercise and change the social groups you hang out in to ones that believe in clean fun with minimal if any drinking? Take some damn responsibility for your actions ffs.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:10 AM

For those who want to learn a little more about the effects of diet and exercise on gene expression in your lifetime, see what a quick google search turned up here: http://www.tnonline.com/2011/sep/03/epigenetic-diet-shows-good-food-negates-bad-genes . And I'm not trying to be rude here but it Pisses me off when people act like their genes control their destiny especially when it comes to things like obesity,addiction,cancer,alcoholism,CHD, etc. There are very real things you can do in your lifetime and that doesn't include waiting for gene suppressing patentable drugs.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:02 AM

Come on guys, this is supposed to be PH home of the saying "correlation does not mean causation". There are genetic predispositions in epidemiological research for alcoholism, obesity, cancer, CHD, violent tendencies and almost any other disposition you can think of. Have none of you guys that down voted me heard of epigenetics or do you just enjoy relinquishing control/responsibility of your life to something that is outside of you're control? But don't get mAd at me I probably just have a genetic predisposition for my behavior http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1458834/ .

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 07:58 AM

Oops, that's exactly what I meant. I am going to change it.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 16, 2013
at 07:55 AM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20648910 It seems that there could be a genetic predisposition but the same way you can retrain your dopamine/reward system to get rid of sugar cravigns by becoming leptin/insulin sensitive and dealing properly with food timing/types I guess there must be a way to fix alcoholism. A genetic predisposition? Maybe. Impossible to overcome? Don't think so. We are all about hormones and we know we can alter them with the correct protocols, that's the difficult part.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 16, 2013
at 07:31 AM

Often it is the genetically alcohol intolerant populations who more readily become addicted to alcohol, e.g. American indians.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:44 AM

-1 Stephen and +1 Jimmy. Stephen, you have no idea what a genetic predisposition entails in terms of [lack of] conscious manageability if you think that this is even remotely okay to say.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 16, 2013
at 03:49 AM

(I'm hoping some years down the road, I'll be able to handle it a bit better, like I used to be able to through better dieting.)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 16, 2013
at 03:47 AM

Indeed. I used to be able to drink as much as I wanted, but I began to develop an intolerance (both my mom and grandma are allergic, and my dad developed a bit of an intolerance when he got older.) A hangover starts for me as soon as the 2nd drink in. That pretty much fixed the whole risk of alcoholism genetically and through diet.

C5d5cfab77a26fa17a56f2c62b99b879

(542)

on May 16, 2013
at 03:46 AM

You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

721c5da8e761f101e04037e85f6e1236

(396)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:18 AM

Oh, here is the link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Genetic-Nutrition-Designing-Medical-History/dp/0026112957. By the way, I have been Paleo off and on for four years.

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5 Answers

best answer

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:27 AM

In her book "Deep Nutrition" Dr. Cate argues that the "fetal alcohol syndrome" is the result of nutritional deficiencies. She quotes one experiment where expectant mothers who were alcoholics and who already had kids with fetal alcohol syndrome were given some special vitamin enhanced supplements and as a result they gave birth to normal babies.

Also, according to research, people who live around grape harvesting areas, are less susceptible to alcoholism. When you add grape extracts to vodka and sell it to people, the consumers are less prone to get addicted.

Alcohol tolerance or intolerance is genetic. Many populations around the globe are alcohol intolerant - many indigenous people are among them - thus it is easier for them to become alcohol-dependant.

When Asians consume alcohol, many of them experience "flush" symptoms, which indicates that they are alcohol-intolerant as well. If Asians would consume grape wine for thousand of years, their response would be different.

Consuming grape wine and grape extract prevents developing alcoholism (as far as I know).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 07:58 AM

Oops, that's exactly what I meant. I am going to change it.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on May 16, 2013
at 07:31 AM

Often it is the genetically alcohol intolerant populations who more readily become addicted to alcohol, e.g. American indians.

Fa4b934bc224b17784fe0ee36d153dcd

(168)

on August 27, 2013
at 03:59 PM

My mother drank heavily while pregnant but also ate a lot of healthy meats & vegetables. I test in the top 1% and have no signs of the syndrome, but I do have intense sugar cravings, never gain weight, and am nauseated by the smell of alcohol. There are clearly epigenetic effects from drinking while pregnant, but its fascinating to know that nutrition can offset most of the damage.

6
6e7fd5e6b6bac84f326183c76e96b370

(298)

on May 16, 2013
at 03:17 AM

Stephen is right the best way to deter alcoholism, is to be strong enough to say no.

I know some families have a history of alcoholism, I'm sure somewhere in us there is a trigger, but like he said, best to go cold turkey if you think you're predisposed, I don't think you can eat some magic diet, that would allow you to drink. For one thing, even asking about a diet would suggest you're trying to find an excuse to keep drinking.

Dunn if this question was in general or in regards to yourself, so don't take it too personally.

5
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:55 AM

Diet can definitely prevent alcoholism. Just take alcohol out of your diet. Problem solved. Are some people more genetically predisposed to be alcoholics? Seems like a stretch, not to say it isn't possible just seems like a cop out.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 16, 2013
at 03:49 AM

(I'm hoping some years down the road, I'll be able to handle it a bit better, like I used to be able to through better dieting.)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:35 AM

And jimmy , go justify your addictive behavior somewhere else.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 16, 2013
at 03:47 AM

Indeed. I used to be able to drink as much as I wanted, but I began to develop an intolerance (both my mom and grandma are allergic, and my dad developed a bit of an intolerance when he got older.) A hangover starts for me as soon as the 2nd drink in. That pretty much fixed the whole risk of alcoholism genetically and through diet.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:21 AM

Lol Raney, you sure are pretty confident that I'm completely wrong considering there only seems to be lost epidemiological evidence supporting your claim... http://www.soberforever.net/addiction-genetics.cfm , http://www.booksie.com/health_and_fitness/essay/taylorzebra94/alcoholism-is-not-genetic-by-taylor-wright . Maybe you guys can instead of down voting my answer, take some responsibility for your lives, eat properly, exercise and change the social groups you hang out in to ones that believe in clean fun with minimal if any drinking? Take some damn responsibility for your actions ffs.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:02 AM

Come on guys, this is supposed to be PH home of the saying "correlation does not mean causation". There are genetic predispositions in epidemiological research for alcoholism, obesity, cancer, CHD, violent tendencies and almost any other disposition you can think of. Have none of you guys that down voted me heard of epigenetics or do you just enjoy relinquishing control/responsibility of your life to something that is outside of you're control? But don't get mAd at me I probably just have a genetic predisposition for my behavior http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1458834/ .

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:44 AM

-1 Stephen and +1 Jimmy. Stephen, you have no idea what a genetic predisposition entails in terms of [lack of] conscious manageability if you think that this is even remotely okay to say.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:10 AM

For those who want to learn a little more about the effects of diet and exercise on gene expression in your lifetime, see what a quick google search turned up here: http://www.tnonline.com/2011/sep/03/epigenetic-diet-shows-good-food-negates-bad-genes . And I'm not trying to be rude here but it Pisses me off when people act like their genes control their destiny especially when it comes to things like obesity,addiction,cancer,alcoholism,CHD, etc. There are very real things you can do in your lifetime and that doesn't include waiting for gene suppressing patentable drugs.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:22 AM

Loose *

C5d5cfab77a26fa17a56f2c62b99b879

(542)

on May 16, 2013
at 03:46 AM

You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on May 16, 2013
at 07:55 AM

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20648910 It seems that there could be a genetic predisposition but the same way you can retrain your dopamine/reward system to get rid of sugar cravigns by becoming leptin/insulin sensitive and dealing properly with food timing/types I guess there must be a way to fix alcoholism. A genetic predisposition? Maybe. Impossible to overcome? Don't think so. We are all about hormones and we know we can alter them with the correct protocols, that's the difficult part.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:32 AM

Alcoholism is not genetic. Alcoholism is passed down through family members because families that drink together, become alcoholics together.

4
B320ee8e0947b27f158e86aacbec353e

(101)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:54 AM

I think susceptibility to addiction itself is partially genetic, rather than just alcoholism. That shouldn't make it inevitable, however, as there are a lot of other factors in whether someone becomes an addict or an alcoholic.

One of the bigger factors of being susceptible to any addiction is mental health, which can be at least partially affected positively or negatively by a healthy or unhealthy diet respectively.

There may be a correlation between good diet and lesser susceptibility to addiction/alcoholism and poor diet and greater susceptibility to addiction/alcoholism, but keep in mind that correlation does not imply causation.

B320ee8e0947b27f158e86aacbec353e

(101)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:25 PM

Scott Hall moved in with Page 3 months ago and was in bad shape with a hip injury which he very recently had surgery to correct. Because of the injury, Hall hasn't been able to do any yoga or exercise. Despite this, he has been following the diet and staying away from drugs and alcohol and now seems much happier and healthier. He and Jake haven't been craving drugs or alcohol since and Jake is even considering a return to pro wrestling. There are a few videos about Jake and Scott, the diet and cooking, the yoga and more at youtube.com/dallapage if you're interested.

B320ee8e0947b27f158e86aacbec353e

(101)

on May 16, 2013
at 11:57 AM

There's also a story related to addiction and the Paleo Diet you might find interesting. You may have hard of "Diamond" Dallas Page, professional wrestler and creator of DDP yoga. Over half a year ago, Dallas invited wrestlers Jake Roberts, and recently Scott Hall, to move into his house and get healthy. Jake and Scott were both serious addicts and alcoholics and were at rock bottom. After just 6 months of the Paleo diet, DDP Yoga and regular AA meetings, Jake had lost over 50 pounds, regained muscle mass and flexibility and most importantly, has not succumbed to addiction and is happier.

B320ee8e0947b27f158e86aacbec353e

(101)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:22 PM

There's also a story related to addiction and the Paleo Diet you might find interesting. You may have hard of "Diamond" Dallas Page, professional wrestler and creator of DDP yoga. Over half a year ago, Dallas invited wrestlers Jake Roberts, and recently Scott Hall, to move into his house and get healthy. Jake and Scott were both serious addicts and alcoholics and were at rock bottom. After just 6 months of modified paleo diet, DDP Yoga and regular AA meetings, Jake had lost over 50 pounds, regained muscle mass and flexibility and most importantly, has not succumbed to addiction and is happier.

2
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:49 PM

I think that PERSONALITY is more genetic than being an alcoholic. However, certain personalities are more likely to self-medicate and become addicts. Usually people don't just have one addiction. Alcoholics are more likely to also smoke. In my extended family, drinking, smoking, drug use, and even sexual addiction seem to go together (an extreme example to be sure).

So in answer to your question, YES, I think a paleo diet can help. The dominant personality in my family is intense, driven, melancholy, leading to depression. Eating paleo makes me HAPPY. Calm. Driven, but not in that crazy kind of way. My brain is much happier with lots of good fats. I've tried several times to go to a lower fat paleo (zone, phd for weight loss, etc) and my brain will have none of it.

And BTW, we are Native American. Although I have some German from my mom ... not sure if that hinders or helps! lol.

Fa4b934bc224b17784fe0ee36d153dcd

(168)

on August 27, 2013
at 04:02 PM

Funny that you mention the connection between alcoholism and other addictive behaviors. I just read a biography of John Cheever and he was an alcoholic, chain-smoking, bisexual sex-addict! He chronicled all of this in his typed 10K page journal, which he compulsively maintained...

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