Tuesday, April 23, 2019

appetite mutation

In the New York Times, writer Gina Kolata discusses the new study that might have found a gene sequence that makes people not care much for food. She began her study off the notion that there are some people who just don't fixate over food.  Believe it or not there are some people who don't think about their next meal immediately after finishing their current one. The study has found a genetic alteration that suppresses appetite and also reduces their chance for diabetes and heart disease greatly.

The study included half a million people in the UK from the ages of 40-69 who provided DNA samples along with their medical records.  During this study, a second study on obesity was conducted and yielded the ability to help predict who is at a high risk of it even in early childhood.  The gene is called MC4R and has the ability to destroy satiety which is very alarming.  When you eat your body will signal a gene to tell you that you are hungry, but people with the MC4R mutation never get that signal keeping the gene always on and can continue eating which raises their chance for heart disease by 50%.

The gene can also be flipped in the other direction such as the gene being always off.  This can be found in roughly 6% of the population and causes the person to always feel full.  This is amazing that the gene can just flip causing two very different conditions.  I cant imagine not being hungry due to my love for food.  It would be interesting to see how we can control this mutation in the future.


  1. I think it is rather fascinating that they have actually found that a persons appetite is connected to a gene that they posses. I also think that it's interesting that there are actually people out there that constantly feel as though they are full, much like you I love eating and really could not imaging what this feeling could be like.

  2. I wonder what specific proteins the MC4R gene codes for. Maybe one day it will be possible to supplement those proteins into someone's diet in order to achieve a healthy appetite. I'm not entirely sure how appetite works, so I don't know if that is a possibility or not.

  3. I never knew that appetite could related to the background of one's genes. I also am interested to see further research based on how these genes can be controlled.

  4. Further research on this could be really interesting. Especially since I feel like a lot of people, including myself, don't know that appetite is connected to genes. I feel that this research could be used to make differences in peoples appetites and help those that have the mutations to the MC4R gene.