Acting aggressive and reckless when drunk could be a sign that you’re a complete jerk, or it could be an indication that you are a carrier of a newly discovered aggressive drunk genetic mutation. While this gene is likely to make you the least popular person at the party, according to new research, it may have one benefit: a predisposition to a low and healthy body weight.

Carriers of a gene of the serotonin 2B receptor with a specific mutation, which has previously been linked to impulsive behavior, are likely to have a lower BMI and higher insulin sensitivity than those without the mutation. This is considered to be a positive finding, as insulin sensitivity, or requiring smaller amounts of insulin to lower blood glucose levels, and lower BMI are indicators of good health. As a result, carriers of the mutation who have normal or low levels of testosterone may be better protected from metabolic illnesses relating to obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes.

“It is fascinating to think that this receptor mutation which has been passed through the chain of evolution would impact both the brain as impulsive behaviour and energy metabolism," says lead study author Dr Roope Tikkanen from the University of Helsinki, in a recent statement.

For the study, which is now published online in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, researchers from the University of Helsinki in Finland analyzed the insulin sensitivity, beta cell activity, and BMI of 98 Finnish men between the ages of 25 and 30. All of the men involved in the study had been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, a mental condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others.

Although the team cannot say for sure as to why this genetic mutation is linked to both aggression and metabolism, they assume that at one point in our evolutionary history it may have helped our ancestors survive.

"We could speculate that the compound effect the mutation and testosterone have on energy metabolism may have been beneficial in the cool, nutrition-poor environment after the Ice Age, particularly for men with a high physiological level of testosterone,” explained Tikkanen. “They would have survived with a lower calorie intake.”

In addition to helping our ancestors survive on fewer calories, the aggressive part of the mutation may have helped them to compete for food in an environment with scarce resources.

Today the mutation is found in over 100,000 Finns, and occurs in more than 1,000 Finnish infants born every year.

Source: Tikkanen R, Saukkonen T, Fex M, et al.The effects of a HTR2B stop codon and testosterone on energy metabolism and beta cell function among antisocial Finnish males. Journal of Psychiatric Research . 2016

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