Want Protection Against Diabetes? Be Drunk and Stupid!

Have you previously been told that you act like an idiot when you’ve had a few too many? This may not be the worst thing ever. You could possibly have a genetic mutation that may protect you against metabolic disorders like diabetes and even obesity. Weirdly, this has only been seen in Finnish people thus far and may affect up to 100,000 Nordic individuals. This particular mutation deters the production of 5-Hydroxytryptamine receptor 2B or rather serotonin 2B receptors.

alcohol protects against diabetes
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Serotonin controls our moods and when it is absent we have trouble controlling what we do—hence the acting like an idiot part. People have been known to be reckless, violent and straight-out stupid while drunk and this is all because of this receptor being absent. It has now been suggested by a study appearing in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, that carriers of the mutation are equipped with a higher sensitivity to insulin and the resistance to insulin is almost non-existent.

The hormone, insulin, is responsible for the transport of glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells of the body. When cells become resistant to insulin, they cannot their jobs anymore, resulting in the blood sugar levels rising and a possibility of developing type two diabetes. Ninety-eight Finnish men that had been diagnosed with ASPD or antisocial personality disorder were enlisted for tests. Nine men out of the original 98 were found to carry HTR2B Q20*, the mutation, while 89 did not. The insulin levels and serum glucose of all participants were tested to determine the levels of insulin resistance (IR) and insulin sensitivity (IS). They discovered that the individuals that carried the mutation did better in both instances. They also had lower body mass indexes than the men without the mutation which suggest that they have a lower risk of becoming obese.

alcohol protects against diabetes
Photo: iStock

Another surprising finding was that if the carriers had a low testosterone level to boot, they were even better protected against uncontrolled IS and IR scores than their high testosterone counterparts. Even though the reason for this has not been established the study author, Roope Tikkanen, speculates that it may have something to do with the need of men with high testosterone levels to be able to sustain high blood sugar levels even when they didn’t have a lot to eat right after the Ice Age. This was essential due to the cool, nutrition-poor environment they were forced to live in.