Friday February 22, 2019

Diet Containing High Amount of Carbohydrates May Lead to Obesity in Some

According to lead author Bill Ballard from the University of New South Wales, the research was a rare demonstration of positive selection at work in evolution

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obesity, carbohydrates
Obesity increases asthma risk in children: Study. Pixabay

Researchers have identified a DNA mutation common in animals that may explain why a diet high in carbohydrates induces obesity and diabetes in some but not others.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, showed a surprising difference between two sets of the fruit flies when feeding with alternate diets high in protein and high in carbohydrates.

Fruit fly larvae with a noted mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation showed a pronounced increase in development when eating high carbohydrate diet of banana, but stagnated on a high protein diet of passion fruit, Xinhua news agency quoted the study as saying.

Conversely, fruit fly larvae without that mutation thrived on the high protein diet, but dropped in frequency when put on carbohydrates, the report said.

The six-year collaborative study by Australian, American and Spanish researchers challenged the neutral theory of molecular evolution in which changes in species at the molecular level are random, not caused by natural selection and provide no benefit or disadvantage to the species.

Obesity, Pregnancy
Representational image. Pixabay

According to lead author Bill Ballard from the University of New South Wales, the research was a rare demonstration of positive selection at work in evolution.

Given that humans share 75 per cent of the same genes as fruit flies, and have the same mtDNA genes, it is likely, according to the study, that the same mutation inherited in human mtDNA may metabolise carbohydrates in a similar way.

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“But, the news is not all bad for people harbouring the mutation,” said Ballard.

“You would need to manage your carbohydrate intake when you are younger, but if you are unfortunate enough to develop Parkinson’s Disease, a high carbohydrate diet will help you maintain weight,” Ballard added. (IANS)

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Researchers Identify Genes Causing Obesity

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species

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obese children
India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay

Researchers have identified genetic variants associated with obesity that is central to developing targeted interventions to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like hypertension, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found genetic sites that affect human body’s size and shape, including height and obesity. The findings will help understand how genes can predispose certain individuals to obesity.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers found 24 coding loci (or positions) — 15 common and nine rare — along chromosomes of individuals that predispose to higher waist-to-hip ratio.

Higher values of waist-to-hip ratio are associated with more incidence of diseases associated with obesity.

Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.

“For the first time, we were able to examine, on a large scale, how low-frequency and rare variants influence body fat distribution,” said North.

“A better understanding of the genetic underpinnings of body fat distribution may lead to better treatments for obesity and other downstream diseases obesity also impacts, for example Type-2 diabetes and heart disease,” suggested North.

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Further analysis revealed pathways and gene sets that influenced not only metabolism but also regulation of body fat tissue, bone growth and adiponectin, a hormone that controls glucose levels and breaks down fat.

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species. (IANS)