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Heavy weight loss: what role do genes play in fat cells and obesity?


The influence of genes on obesity and obesity is questionable

More and more people in the world are too fat. Mostly, overweight is due to a lifestyle with little physical activity and a lot of energy-rich food. Scientific studies have shown that some people also develop obesity and obesity due to their genes. But according to a new study, the influence of genetic factors on nutrition is questionable.

Every second German is too fat

Obesity and obesity have become a global health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 39 percent of adults in Europe are overweight. In Germany, more than 50 percent of adults suffer from obesity, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), about a fifth are obese. This is mainly due to the modern lifestyle, which is characterized by low physical activity and eating too much energy.

Genetic factors behind obesity

But genetic factors also play a role in the development of obesity.

For example, an international team of researchers found a gene that is largely responsible for the development of obesity, and Japanese scientists reported that they discovered a gene that burns fat.

To date, around a hundred genes have been identified that are related to the Body Mass Index (BMI). The functions of the genes and the biological mechanisms behind them are largely unknown.

The usefulness of gene diets has not been proven

Nevertheless, individual consumption recommendations based on genetic analysis are currently in vogue.

A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now systematically analyzed specialist articles and comes to the conclusion:

There is no clear evidence that genetic factors influence the consumption of calories, carbohydrates and fat. According to the current state of knowledge, the usefulness of gene diets has not been proven.

Current knowledge is limited

The first database search by the TUM team resulted in more than 10,000 specialist articles that were considered for the topic. 39 articles dealt with the relationship between genetic factors and total energy, carbohydrate or fat intake.

“In all of the studies, we most often came across the gene for fat mass and obesity (FTO) as well as the melanocortin 4 receptor gene (MC4R). There is evidence of a relationship between these two genes and total energy intake, ”explains Dr. Christina Holzapfel from the TUM Institute of Nutritional Medicine in a communication.

However, the study evaluation did not provide a uniform picture: "We can only make a slight connection between the FTO gene and low energy intake and the MC4R gene and increased energy intake."

So there is no evidence that certain genetic factors are related to the total intake of calories, carbohydrates and fat.

The current state of knowledge is still too limited to derive individual nutritional recommendations for weight management, for example, based on genetic information, explains the scientist. The relevant specialist societies also join the latter.

The study results were recently published in the specialist magazine "Advances in Nutrition". (ad)

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