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The Allen Enterprise Project
          Alcohol-related Liver Disease

Research, Research and more Research

I must confess to being really excited by the present research that’s being carried out into alcohol addiction. I’m beginning to

believe there are other factors at work here and that our body’s immune systems may hold the key to a lot our psychological

problems. It has recently been discovered, that the body’s immune system may trigger a desire to drink alcohol. Researchers

from the University of Adelaide in Australia have found a new link between the brain's immune system and the desire to drink

alcohol in the evening.* (See below).

There is also a lot of research being carried out about the link between our immune system and some causes of depression. So here could be the link or the start of the vigorous cycle.   I have already spoken in these pages about the correlation between alcohol and depression. Both these conditions can go hand in glove. Depression may cause a person to want to self-medicate on alcohol in an vain attempt to lift the gloom. Alcohol as we know is a depressant so a down-would cycle of events will begin to emerge. If we then add the body’s immune system or a rogue gene into the mix, then we have three separate situations all contributing to the same problem. Another aspect this research has highlighted, that our drinking behaviour isn’t just akin to humans. It has been discovered that the Vervet Monkeys show similar behavioural traits to us humans. Around 300 years ago, Vervet monkeys were brought to the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean from Africa along with slaves serving the rum industry. Escaped monkeys developed a taste for alcohol by eating fermenting sugar-cane left in the fields. Today they satisfy their thirst by raiding local bars. For years the monkeys have been studied for insights into our own drinking habits. Just as we vary in our taste for alcohol so do the monkeys. The percentage of tea total monkeys matches the non-drinkers in the human population. In line with human habits, most drink in moderation, twelve per cent are steady drinkers and five per cent drink to the last drop. A liking for alcohol is determined by genes and, like monkeys, human taste for alcohol began when we scoured the forest for ripe fermenting fruit. After each daily raid, other human parallels soon appear. In contrast, however, heavy drinkers make good leaders among monkeys, respected by the others. I would like to thank the BBC for the use of these video clips. ( These are best viewed in full screen mode ). * https://www.rdmag.com/article/2017/09/immune-system-brain-tied-alcohol-impulse