In a recent paper, scientist have proved that obesity is linked to genetics. It seems that your craving for junk food would have something to do with your genetic structure after all.
Scientists have discovered two genetic variances located between the FTO and the DRD2 genes. The FTO gene, also known as apha-ketoglutarate-dependand dioxygenase FTO, or simple by Fat Mass gene, is an enzyme. This enzyme is encoded in the human DNA by the FTO gene that is located near chromosome 16, which, by the way, comes in two copies for each human. It has been discovered that the FTO gene is actually linked to obesity and to the predisposition of developing an obesity related disease.
Research shows that the people who carry one copy of chromosome 16 tend to weight 1.2 kilograms than other individual, while those possessing two copies of the same chromosome tend to weight 3 kilograms more than an average individual.
As for the DRD2 gene, things are quite different. Unlike FTO, DRD2 gene is actually a dopamine receptor. The DRD2 gene encodes a protein called D2R. The gene that encodes the D2 type is actually bound to Gi, which is a G protein-coupled receptor. The G receptors are part of part of a much larger family of cell receptors that are capable of sensing certain types of molecules that are outside the cell itself. They trigger an inside signal that leads to the process of cellular response.
Going back to our original thesis, the paper drafted by the Imperial College of London, was brought before the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Also, the paper was presented as part of the Obesity Week, and medical event hosted in Los Angeles by said American Medical Association.
After the presentation, Doctor Tony Goldstone, one of the researchers involved with the project, said that the team has discovered that an actual part of the brain literally lights up when carriers of the FTO gene variant were in contact with certain types of meals. Goldstone also stated that the dopamine imbalance in brain chemistry could also play a leading role in persons who often crave for unhealthy food.
In an experiment involving a couple of patients, scientist were able to ascertain that obesity is linked to genetics. Using state-of-the-art MRI scanning devices, doctors were able to see how a patient’s brain would react when we has present with pictures depicting high or low calorie meals.
The results of this study will surely be beneficial for creating new therapies against obesity.