New research indicates that there might a possible link between light eye color and alcohol addiction.
The research carried out at the University of Vermont by Arvis Sulovari and Dawei Li has been published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics.
While it makes an interesting point suggesting the link between alcohol addiction and genetics, the results should be taken with a pinch of salt according to the researchers.
By no means should it be interpreted as an absolute truth that blue-eyed people are alcohol addicts while dark-eyed people are not.
The study browsed through medical and genetic data of a sample population consisting of 10,000 U.S. citizens. Analysing the data sets, the researchers looked at incidence of mental disorders such as substance abuse – alcohol addiction in particular, as well as demographics and ancestry.
In the database comprised of 10,000 U.S. citizens, the majority was represented by both European Americans or black Americans. Of these 1,263 European Americans were found to have suffered from alcohol addiction.
With the European ancestry came the light color of their eyes, which led the researchers to check the connection between blue-eyed people and alcohol addiction three times factoring in gender, age, location and background.
Overall, Sulovari and Li identified that eye color is an indication for alcohol addiction. More specifically, light-colored eyes (blue-eyed people) were linked to higher incidence of alcohol addiction, while dark-color-eyed people present a lower incidence of dependance.
This is a mere underpinning of the complex genetics that may lead to the mental disorder and is by no means an absolute determining factor.
Nearly all diagnoses known today have a genetic component that are gradually brought to light by the scientific community. Over the past twenty years, alcohol addiction has been explained through a handful of genes, but many others remain hidden for the moment.
The same applies to the link between eye color and alcoholism. Of all the genes at play in determining the color of a person’s eye, it is possible that some are connected to alcohol addiction as well. So far, the specifics remain uncovered.
Also, genes only provide a certain predisposition to a diseases, not determining the disease fully. Other factors are at play, such as social status, income, education, stress levels, cultural attitudes and so on.
So the color of our eyes may well correlate with alcohol addiction, but blue-eyed people should not think that the blue-eye genes are determining the connection.
Image Source: sciencedaily.com