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Comparative genetics of alcoholism in the Kenyan populations

Elena Doudoladova Korir
David Ochieng
Douglas Ndiritu


Hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase are major enzymes in the metabolism of exogenous ethanol. These enzymes are polymorphic and are involved in alcohol drinking and risk of alcoholism in some world populations. Three hundred and seventy one samples of hair root lyzates from five Kenyan communities were screened for ADH 2, ADH 3 and ALDH 2 polymorphisms via isoelectric focusing. Additional information on alcohol drinking behaviour, alcohol intake, frequency of alcohol drinking, preference of alcoholic drinks, and alcohol dependence was collected via interview and questionnaire. SAS JPIN statistical program was used to analyze obtained data using chi-square, Anova and t-tests. The results showed that ADH 2*2, ADH 3*1 and ALDH 2*2 alleles do not have protective properties against risk of alcoholism in the selected Kenyan populations. Other factors than ADH and ALDH polymorphisms interfered in the protective mechanism of the latter alleles against excessive alcohol drinking.

Key Words: Alcohol, ADH, ALDH, polymorphism, alcohol drinking, alcoholism.

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol.3(2) 2004: 152-155

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eISSN: 1684-5315