Tuesday February 19, 2019

Study Reveals That Genes Affect Where Fat is Stored in our Bodies

The result of the current study may therefore lead to the development of new interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

0
//
The heart attack brings about activation of certain genes which stay as a permanent memory in genes. Pixabay

Researchers have found that whether you store your fat around the trunk or in other parts of your body is highly influenced by genetic factors.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, also reported that this effect is present predominantly in women and to a much lower extent in men.

“We know that women and men tend to store fat differently – women have the ability to more easily store fat on the hips and legs, while men tend to accumulate fat around the abdomen to a higher extent,” said lead author Mathias Rask-Andersen from Uppsala University in Sweden.

“This has been attributed to the effects of sex hormones such as estrogen. But the molecular mechanisms that control this phenomenon are fairly unknown,” Rask-Andersen added.

For the study, the researchers measured how fat was distributed in nearly 360,000 voluntary participants. The participants gave blood samples for genotyping and the distribution of fat tissue was estimated using impedance measurements, i.e. measurements of electrical resistance when an electrical current is fed through the body.

In the study, millions of genetic variants across the genome were tested for association with distribution of fat to the arms, legs or trunk, and the research team identified nearly a hundred genes that affect distribution of adipose tissue to the different compartments of the human body.

Representational image.

The researchers also saw a high degree of heterogeneity between sexes.

The findings suggest that remodelling of the extracellular matrix is one of the mechanisms that generates differences in body fat distribution, the researchers said.

Fat stored in the trunk has previously been associated with increased disease risk. Men have a greater amount of abdominal fat than women and this may explain the increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease observed in males.

Epidemiological studies have even shown that the ability to store fat around the hips and legs gives women some protection against cardiovascular disease.

Also Read- Samsung Unveils its Latest Processor For Mid-ranged Smartphones in India

The result of the current study may therefore lead to the development of new interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“The biological systems we highlight in our study have the potential to be used as points-of-intervention for new drugs that are aimed at improving the distribution of body fat and thereby reducing the risk of disease,” Mathias Rask-Andersen noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Your Genes Determine How Successful Your Married Life Is

They are relevant to how partners provide and receive support from each other.

0
wedding
They are relevant to how partners provide and receive support from each other. Pixabay

Do you think you could lead a happy married life? The answer is in your genes, a new study has said.

Although prior research has hinted that marital quality is, at least partially, impacted by genetic factors, and that oxytocin may be relevant to social support, according to recent studies, variation on specific genes related to oxytocin functioning impact overall marital quality, in part.

They are relevant to how partners provide and receive support from each other.

wedding
Husbands with a particular genotype were less satisfied with the support they were provided from their wives which suggested that it was also associated with being less satisfied with their marriage, noted Mattson. Pixabay

The study evaluated whether different genotypes – possible genetic combinations of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR)- influenced how spouses support one another, which is a key determinant of overall marital quality.

OXTR was targeted because it is related to the regulation and release of oxytocin.

“Genes matter when it comes to the quality of marriage, because genes are relevant to who we are as individuals, and characteristics of the individual can impact the marriage,” said Richard Mattson, Associate Professor from the Binghamton University in the US.

For the study, the team included nearly 100 couples.

Each partner was asked individually to come up with an issue to discuss something they identify as their most salient personal problem that was not related to their partner or partner’s family such as problems at work.

genes
Genes matter when it comes to the quality of marriage, because genes are relevant to who we are as individuals, and characteristics of the individual can impact the marriage,” said Richard Mattson, Associate Professor from the Binghamton University in the US. Pixabay

“We found that variation at two particular locations on OXTR impacted the observed behaviours of both husbands and wives, and that differences in behaviour across couples had small but cumulative effects on overall evaluations of support, and thus marital quality in general,” added Mattson, published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

However, what emerged as most relevant to overall marital quality for both partners was genotypic variation among husbands at a specific location on OXTR.

Also Read: U.S. Congresswoman Talks About African Refugees, Aiming Global Human Rights

Husbands with a particular genotype were less satisfied with the support they were provided from their wives which suggested that it was also associated with being less satisfied with their marriage, noted Mattson.

The researchers hope their findings provide the foundation for replication and additional study of OXTR as an enduring determinant of marital functioning. (IANS)