Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Could You Be Wearing "Fat Jeans" Because of Fat Genes?

Differences Among Fat-Storage in Mice

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles, in addition to environmental factors such as diet and exercise, obesity is indeed linked to an individual's genes. For 16 weeks, over 100 genetic strains of mice were treated in laboratories under identical conditions. Each were first given a healthy, well-balanced diet for a duration of 8 weeks followed by a high-sugar, high-fat content diet for the remaining 8 weeks. The results were very interesting; Although handled under the same environmental conditions, there was a prominent variation in weight gain among all of the mice. Some showed little to no change while others increased their body fat by over "600 percent." Therefore, scientists contributed this variation to genetic influences.

If people consume a high-fat diet, the response will be predominantly determined by genetics," Dr. Lusis said. "But whether you choose to eat a high-fat diet in the first place is largely environmental."

Eleven genetic loci associated with obesity and fat storage were identified, several of which were "linked to obesity in humans." It was found that some mice had higher fat burning mechanisms, thus eliminating more calories, while others had greater propensities to be more physically active. Data from this study can greatly contribute to targeting more efficient weight loss treatments and pharmacology in the near future. In addition, researchers hope to also study more specifically "brown fat" which is metabolically responsible for creating heat and burning caloric intake. While it is certain that what one consumes and how one utilizes those calories (through exercise or inactivity) has a significant effect on fat loss and storage, it is also now inferred that obesity can be highly inheritable and pre-existent in one's genome.

Obesity May Be Highly Influenced by Genes

[For more on this article, check out the following links: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/fat-genes-obesity-ucla-study-diet-exercise_n_2450108.html & http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/09/what-mice-can-tell-us-about-obesity-and-genetics/ ]

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering how this might be further effected while still in the womb. According to another article related to this topic they state that, there is increasing research that suggests that the environment to which a fetus is exposed during pregnancy impacts weight later in life. Indeed, many studies have found direct links between both high and low birth weights and a greater likelihood for overweight and obesity years later. I'd like to know what kind of environments should be avoided to decrease the chances of weight issues for the fetus. This is such an ongoing issue in the US especially. I found that in Europe there are not as many overweight people because their society is conditioned to walking or riding bikes to many of their destinations. Will that slowly change ones genetic disposition to weight gain over many generations?