Wednesday December 12, 2018

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 increases asthma risk in children: Study. Pixabay
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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.

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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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Obesity Spikes up Asthma Risk in Children

"Addressing childhood obesity should be a priority to help improve the quality of life of children and help reduce paediatric asthma," Finkel noted

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Obesity increases asthma risk in children: Study. Pixabay

Parents, please take note. Obese children are at an increased risk of asthma, a new study has found.

The findings suggest that the incidence of an asthma diagnosis among children with obesity was significantly higher than in those in a normal weight range and that 23 to 27 per cent of new asthma cases were directly attributable to obesity.

“Paediatric asthma is among the most prevalent childhood conditions and comes at a high cost to patients, families and the greater health system,” said co-author Terri Finkel from Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.

“There are few preventable risk factors to reduce the incidence of asthma, but our data show that reducing the onset of childhood obesity could significantly lower the public health burden of asthma,” Finkel added.

For the study published in the journal Paediatrics, the research team analysed medical records of more than 500,000 children.

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The study provides new insight that could help us predict and manage diseases like asthma – which are a significant public health burden. IANS

The researchers reviewed de-identified data of patients aged two to 17 without a history of asthma, receiving care from six paediatric academic medical centres between 2009 and 2015.

Overweight or obese patients were matched with normal weight patients of the same age, gender, race, ethnicity, insurance type and location of care.

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The researchers found that obesity among children with asthma appears to increase disease severity. Being overweight was identified as a modest risk factor for asthma, and the association was diminished when the most stringent definition of asthma was used.

“Addressing childhood obesity should be a priority to help improve the quality of life of children and help reduce paediatric asthma,” Finkel noted. (IANS)