Tuesday April 23, 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

Common Myths Around Sleep Decoded!

"Sleep is important to health, and there needs to be greater effort to inform the public regarding this important public health issue"

0
sleep
The authors encourage patients not to dismiss loud snoring, but rather to see a doctor since this sleep behaviour may lead to heart stoppages or other illnesses. Pixabay

Common myths around sleep like snoring is harmless or having a drink helps fall asleep not only shape poor habits but may also pose a significant public health threat, say researchers.

The claim by some people that they can get by on five hours of sleep was among the top myths researchers were able to dispel based on scientific evidence.

This myth also poses the most serious risk to health from long-term sleep deficits, said the study published online in Sleep Health journal on Tuesday.

“Sleep is a vital part of life that affects our productivity, mood, and general health and well-being,” said study lead investigator Rebecca Robbins at New York University Langone Health.

sleep
This myth also poses the most serious risk to health from long-term sleep deficits, said the study published online in Sleep Health journal on Tuesday. Pixabay

“Dispelling myths about sleep promotes healthier sleep habits which, in turn, promote overall better health,” she added.

To reach this conclusion, researchers reviewed more than 8,000 websites to identify the 20 most common assumptions about sleep.

With a team of sleep medicine experts, they ranked them based on whether each could be dispelled as a myth or supported by scientific evidence, and on the harm that the myth could cause.

Another common myth relates to snoring.

While snoring can be harmless, it can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder.

The authors encourage patients not to dismiss loud snoring, but rather to see a doctor since this sleep behaviour may lead to heart stoppages or other illnesses.

time
The claim by some people that they can get by on five hours of sleep was among the top myths researchers were able to dispel based on scientific evidence. Pixabay

The study authors also found sufficient evidence that, despite beliefs to the contrary, drinking alcoholic beverages before bed is indeed unhealthy for sleep.

Also Read: Mexican President will Create ‘Robin Hood’ Institute to Return ‘Stolen’ Wealth to People

“Sleep is important to health, and there needs to be greater effort to inform the public regarding this important public health issue,” noted study senior investigator Girardin Jean Louis.

Robbins and her colleagues suggest creating a consistent sleep schedule and spending more time, at least seven hours, asleep. (IANS)