Hey guys, peanz clocking in and im here not to fascinate u with one of my reflections but to educate you on something even more interesting. As part of the criteria for our blog we are required to do two published paper reviews. This is our second and this publish paper discusses alcohol metabolism in various ethnic groups in Trinidad and Tobago. It is very interesting guys so take a read!
Existing in Trinidad and Tobago, a multi-ethnic nation, are 2 main ethnic groups: East Indians (Indo-Trinidadians) and Africans (Afro-Trinidadians).In the 1970’s there was a sudden economic development and industrialization and following that alcohol consumption levels escalated greatly. Studies on the ethnicity and the prevalence of alcoholism in the twin island found that the ability to tolerate alcohol is higher among Indo- Trinis than Afro-Trinis. A survey done showed this with a higher percentage of Indo-Trinis had an alcohol problem compared to the Afro-Trinis. There are actually few studies that have actually investigated biological factors that would explain those results. The article shows the findings of studies done by a group of scientists who analyzed the genetic difference in alcohol metabolizing enzymes of both ethnic groups as a bias for the differences in alcohol prevalence between both groups. Surveys have shown that the primary reason for these variations occur in genes that code for enzymes which are responsible for the metabolism of alcohol. Alcohol is oxidized by alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH) to acetaldehyde, which is converted to acetate by alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes. Alcohol may also go through a different pathway and be metabolized by microsomal ethanol oxidizing systems (MEOS). The variation in the metabolism rate is due to the different isoforms/ polymorphisms of the enzymes that catalyze the metabolism of alcohol. The more active forms break down the alcohol faster whereas the less active forms allow for a buildup of acetaldehyde since there is a slower oxidation rate. Studies show that there is a difference of alleles that code for ADH between the ethnicities Indo Trinidadian and Afro- Trinidadian. It also relates that the indo-Trinidadian alcohol dependence is caused by the presence of the allele ADH1C*2 hence the stereotype that their ethnic group is well known for “Heavy drinking” and the reason they can consume more alcohol is primarily because they have a allele ADH1C*1 that gives them a protective effect. However as it pertains to afro-Trinidadians they possess an allele ADH1B*3 that protects them from becoming alcohol dependent hence less associated with liver disease. There is also another analysis that shows the presence of ALDH1A1*2 are associated with alcohol dependence in the East Indians. There is also mention of the reason that East Asians aren’t able to contain their alcohol at all and this is because of the presence of ALDH2*2.
Indo-Trinis have ADH1C+ whereas afro-Trinis have ADH1B+3 and these two genes are responsible for the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which in turn is responsible for the reduced alcoholism. ALDH2+2 is the allele seen in East Asians, which is responsible for preventing them from developing alcoholism. This allele is not seen in the Indo and Afro- Trinis. The presence of one copy (the minimum) of a variance in the gene encoding for cystolic ALDH1A was discovered to be in association with the rise in the alcohol dependence in Indo-Trinis