Monday, March 18, 2024

Genetically Vegetarian?

 It was discovered that a large number of Americans, 48% to 64%, that identify as vegetarian are still found to be consuming poultry, fish and/or red meat. New research suggested that it came down to one's DNA, and findings point to three particular genes that seem to be strongly linked to vegetarianism. To research this, scientists had to compare the impact of genes on eating patterns, comparing strict vegetarians to non-vegetarians (control group). These scientists discovered that there are potentially 31 genes associated. Several of these discovered genes were found to be involved in the metabolism of fat and/or brain function. It is speculated that there is a need for lipid components in non-vegetarians, suggesting that those who are vegetarian have no need for these components and are able to synthesize them endogenously. 

I think these findings are really interesting in that vegetarianism could be genetically linked. I expected the research to be about environmental changes that would affect one's decision of being vegetarian. Such as the lone star tick which makes the person bitten develop an allergy to alpha-gal, allergy towards red meat. However, it is interesting that there are possibly genes that make a person favor vegetarianism. It also makes perfect sense, especially if it is based on lipid components and what some people may or may not be able to synthesize. 

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