Everyone has a set of beliefs that dictate everyday life. However, one the major determining factors for a person’s alcohol use is (as you expected) religion. Even if you do not belong to these faiths, you may be aware of the strict rules about overindulgence or a unique set of guidelines for alcohol consumption among practitioners of many different faiths. Still, did you know that the Jewish perspective on alcohol use runs far deeper than religious views? In fact, according to recent studies, Jewish people in general (referring to Caucasians living in this section of the Middle East) may be naturally deterred from alcohol due to the presence of a gene. How does those work exactly? Let’s take a closer look and find out some more information.

Defense from Alcoholism

Recently, scientists discovered that the alcohol dehydrogenase 1B gene variation (ADH1B), formerly called the alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2*2) gene, trigger a discouragement towards drinking. In other words, people who have this gene sequence makes people naturally wary of booze. Ultimately, the scientists are not fully sure of why or how this gene forces people to stay away from this drink, but they have discovered another fascinating phenomenon.

According to research, about 20% of Jewish people have this gene sequence, and scientist have speculated that this may be a huge reason why this group exhibits extremely low rates of alcoholism. Simply put, the ADH1B gene triggers an overabundance of an enzyme that is a critical component for the metabolization of alcohol. As a result, people who have this gene (in this case, Jews) do not drink as much alcohol or as many standard drinks as other ethnic groups. So, in essence, the dislike for alcohol is as much a part of Jewish genes as it is a part of their culture and religion.

A Matter of Culture and Genes

In a related study, Dr. Deborah Hasin (Columbia University) and her research team assessed Israeli Jews between 22 to 65 years of age. Ultimately, they discovered that people who had the ADH1B gene experienced significantly low rates of alcohol dependence over the course of their lives.

Overall, Dr. Hasin and her team divided the subjects into two groups: Ashkenazi (European Jews and Russian Jewish immigrants from before 1989) and Sephardics (Middle Eastern and North African Jews). Based on the report, the Russian immigrants suffered from the highest levels of alcohol dependency. So, in essence, culture and genetics can play a factor in Jewish drinking habits (much like anyone else), only Jews seem to have one more failsafe switch.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism        

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are dangerous mental illnesses that can potentially destroy your social life and your actual life. Intoxicating drinks are not your friend or a viable coping method, and you can always find a better option to clean up your life. Are you suffering from a severe case of alcohol use disorder? Is one of your family members or a friend suffering from this problem, as well? In both cases, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the rehabilitation process and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. The time to take back control of your life is now.

If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your alcohol abuse or addiction troubles today.


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