Liver hormone may regulate alcohol drinking: paper published in PNAS on 28th November 2016: Prof. Paul Elliott, Imperial College London in research team

According to a new study a liver hormone called FGF21 may regulate alcohol drinking by acting directly on a receptor in the brain. 


Researchers from Imperial College London, King’s College London, and UT Southwestern Medical Center, for the first time highlights a liver-brain axis which plays an important role in regulating the consumption of alcohol.


In this new study, published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers carried out the largest-ever genetic analysis of usual (i.e. non-addictive) alcohol consumption in more than 105,000 individuals of European descent. In addition to providing samples for genetic analysis, the participants answered questionnaires on their weekly drinking habits.

Professor Paul Elliott from Imperial College London said: ‘Alcohol drinking in excess is a major public health problem worldwide and we need to find new ways of reducing the harmful effects of alcohol in the population. Even small shifts downward in the average amount of alcohol people drink may have major health benefits.’

He added: ‘The results of our study point to a previously unrecognised genetic determinant of alcohol drinking among the general population. Our findings may eventually lead to new treatments for people whose health is being harmed by drinking.’

To read the abstract click here 

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