Research from the University of Alaska that seeks to make making blood-thinners safe for Eskimos could lead to personalized prescriptions.
The way our bodies process drugs is considerably influenced by genetics, and scientists are working non-stop to identify specific genes that govern individual differences in drug metabolism.
In an upcoming study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, pharmacogenomics researchers will aim to identify genetic codes that could be used to customize safer and more effective drug prescriptions.
They are starting with warfarin, a drug used to prevent blood clots. Warfarin works by antagonizing the effect of Vitamin K, which encourages blood clotting.
Since the Yup’ik Eskimos’ eat mostly seafood, packed with omega-3 fatty acids that tend to inhibit blood clots, but not many green, leafy vegetables which are a big source of vitamin K, the study will measure the ways in which genetics interacts with diet to influence the anti-coagulent properties of Warfarin.