Eye Color and Alcohol Consumption May Impact Your Sight

Eye Color and Alcohol Consumption May Impact Your Sight

Many people who consume alcohol rationalize their imbibing into a daily routine as part of social interaction or a way to decompress after a hard day. In fact, according to an article in the Washington Post (9/25/14), although about 60% of people have none or one drink per week, the other 30% consumes one to two glasses of alcohol per night and the last 10%, about 24 million people, consume 10 drinks per day (which is extreme).

With numbers like these it has been important for researchers to determine the variety of health effects from consuming minimal, moderate and maximum alcohol beverages. Two results amongst many studies includes an eye color predisposition and potential weakening of sight depending on drinking habits.

Eyes of the Beholder

Those blue, green or light grey eyes may make you swoon but it could be a sign of getting involved with a potential alcoholic.

Published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics a study by researchers from Yale, University of Vermont, Boston University and University of Pennsylvania all contributed to combined work that stated eye color may be a potential indicator of alcohol dependence risk in European Americans.

It was shown that,

“In archival samples of European-ancestry subjects, light-eyed individuals have been found to consume more alcohol than dark-eyed individuals.”

This was a controlled trial that investigated data from 1,263 European-Americans showing what was determined “statistically significant” links between eye color genes and genes related to alcohol dependency.

Science Daily reports that,

“The study outlines the genetic components that determine eye color and shows that they line up along the same chromosome as the genes related to excessive alcohol use.”

This kind of work where gene similarities overlap offers the potential to stop harmful conditions or diseases before they progress. One of the lead authors of the study, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Dawei Li, Ph.D., has studied psychiatric genes for over ten years and is determined to continue bringing to light connections of cultural background and genetic makeup.

Alcohol Consumption May Affect Sight

If you have experienced drinking too much alcohol, being unable to see straight may have been one of the side effects. However, your vision hopefully returned with no lasting effects that you know of at least. However, even though acute vision challenges may occur upon imbibing it is the accumulation of alcohol over time that could result in some serious adverse vision conditions.

Recent research has been published showing how continued drinking over time can deplete the body of vitamin A in the liver. When this results, a slow chain reaction can occur that increases the risk of developing a variety of diseases affecting the brain, heart, liver, pancreas and eyes.

According to All About Vision (AAV),

“Vitamin A, at least when in combination with other antioxidant vitamins, also appears to play a role in decreasing the risk of macular degeneration (AMD).”

In addition, vitamin A combined with lutein has also been linked to extending vision in patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a rare disease that degenerates into vision loss.

AAV reports that,

“A recent four-year study conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and other prominent universities found that individuals with retinitis pigmentosa who took daily supplements of vitamin A (15,000 IU) and lutein (12 mg) had a slower loss of peripheral vision than those who did not take the combined supplements.”

Drinking alcohol on a regular basis can put you at risk for a loss of vitamin A that could affect your vision and other systemic functions. It is estimated that you do not have to drink everyday either as the accumulation of even moderate alcohol use, in some people, could perpetuate these results.

As researchers continue to forge through many clinical studies to determine these and future risks regarding healthy vision ,it is up to you to take heed of these warnings. Whether you have light eye color and need to question your penchant for alcohol and/or how your current alcohol use could be affecting your future vision health are two questions to consider.