Three Genes Could Explain Why Some People Are Obese But Healthy, Say Scientists

Scientists are continuing to study the relationship between health, weight and lifespan.  New information is being discovered all the time.  A recent small study out of Denmark discovered that our genes can tell us a lot about how we store fat and the impacts that has on the health of an individual.  This study looked at 60 men and women who had a BMI over 45 and all were electing to undergo bariatric surgery.  Half of the participants were already diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.  The other half were obese  but had not been diagnosed with further complications at this time.  The participants genes were scanned and a difference was discovered.  The two groups had gene activity that differently transported and stored fat.  When you have high levels of fat in your blood your risk for Type 2 Diabetes greatly increases.  This study does not prove that a healthy weight, balanced diet and regular exercise are not important for overall health.  But it does show that on a gene level individuals handle fat differently, which may give insight into treating obesity.

Key Points:

  • 1Scientists have offered a genetic explanation for why some people are obese and healthy while others develop diabetes and heart disease as a result of their weight.
  • 2They have identified three genes which determine whether fat is compartmentalised and stored around the outside of the body or whether it spills into the circulatory system.
  • 3Fat that spills into the circulatory system fat appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and fatty deposits around the heart and liver.

Previous studies have found that while being overweight or obese is a risk factor for diabetes, liver disease and heart disease, about 15-20% of those who are obese appear to suffer no health consequences.

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