The gene for alcohol dehydrogenase to break down ethanol, first appeared in vertebrates, reveals research.
Hector Riveros-Rosas at the National Autonomous University of Mexico found that ADH first appeared in vertebrates some 450 million years ago - long before flowering plants evolved, and even before the conifers that appeared around 315 million years ago began producing sweet berries that can ferment to generate small quantities of alcohol, reports New Scientist.
AdvertisementRiveros-Rosas believes ADH was initially used to metabolize natural hormones, and was later seized for our drunken pleasures.
He points out that studies have found evidence that ADH breaks down naturally produced hormones such as dopamine much faster than ethanol.
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