Genes May Determine Craving For Cigarettes

by Medindia Content Team on  January 25, 2006 at 3:56 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Genes May Determine Craving For Cigarettes
Certain genes in a person can make him more predisposed where smoking is concerned, according to a new research. This research may result in better cures for the addictive habit. A gene which is called CYP2A6 serves to regulate the body's nicotine metabolism. Nicotine is the primary chemical responsible for smoking addiction.

People carry different forms of the CYP2A6 gene, and this is more pronounced in particular parts of the world, and the Asiatic people show a remarkable variations where this gene is concerned. Researchers in Tokyo decided to compare how different forms of the gene influenced the cigarette consumption of 200 Japanese people aged 50 or over who smoked 20 cigarettes (one pack) or more each day. The scientists found that roughly one-quarter of the participants carried two copies of the normal form of the gene, CYP2A6*1 and that these people smoked the most, almost two packs a day on average.

Smokers who carried two copies of the CYP2A6*4 gene, which results in slower nicotine metabolism, smoked the least. The study also provided new details about the role of other forms of the gene CYP2A6*7 and CYP2A6*9, suggesting these also reduce cigarette consumption. The findings suggest that people with the genes for fast nicotine metabolism may need more of the chemical to calm their cravings and help them kick their habit.

Edited (ANI)

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