Does your eye color indicate your risk of disease?

by: Cynthia Jaffe D.C. NP in Health & Fitness

An increasing amount of research has linked the color of your eyes to your risk of a number of health concerns – and alcoholism is the latest reveal.

When you look into someone’s eyes, what do you see? Their soul? What they’re thinking? Or maybe even something about their health?
A new study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, parsed the question: can eye color be a useful clinical indicator of alcoholism and possibly other psychiatric illnesses?
How is eye colour linked to alcohol dependence?
The researchers, Arvis Sulovari and Dawei Li, Ph.D., studied people of European or African ancestry who had at least one mental health illness. Many individuals had multiple illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and addiction to either alcohol or drugs.
From that database, Sulovari and Li filtered out 1, 263 Europeans with alcohol dependence as their sample population and controlled for population stratification. Age, gender, and different ethnic or geographic backgrounds were compared.
The duo found that individuals with lighter eye colors – including green, grey or brown in the center – had a higher incidence of dependence on alcohol than those who had brown eyes.
After noting the eye-color connection with blue eyes as a risk factor compared to brown eyes, the researchers found a statistically significant interaction between eye color and alcohol-dependence associated genes. The genetic components of both eye color and alcohol dependence lined up along the same chromosome.
In a press release, Li said his work with Sulavari provided a strong stepping-stone – though he pointed out that more research is needed as “we still don’t know the reason” for these associations.
According to the University of Vermont, the study results suggested hope in finding not only the roots of alcoholism but also many other psychiatric illnesses.
A 2000 archival study published in the journal Personality and Individual differences suggested similar results, with the results indicating that lighter-eyed individuals were more likely to become dependent on alcohol than those with darker eyes. The authors concluded that darker-eyed individuals were more drug and alcohol sensitive and therefore needed less alcohol to feel effects that took longer in lighter-eyed individuals………
Source: The News Hub

 

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