Tuesday February 25, 2020

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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All you Need to Know About Pet Obesity

Is your pet obese? Here are ways to tackle pet obesity

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Pet obesity
Pet obesity is a direct result of changing pet lifestyles. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

An extra treat here, a lazy day-in there, all this can lead to your pet being obese. It is hard to ignore that puppy face your pet makes while he or she watches you eat, but as per experts, pet obesity is a direct result of changing pet lifestyles.

“Pets and pet owners have evolved in the last couple of decades. More food options, reduced open spaces for pets and busy work culture for pet parents have all contributed to a very different lifestyle for pets in the country. All these factors contribute significantly to pet obesity which is very much a cause of concern,” Gaurav Kwatra, Director, PURINA Petcare India, told IANSlife.

The pet nutrition brand, which developed a nine-stage Body Conditioning system to assess pets, has also done a 14-year lifespan study with dogs. Results show that dogs that maintain a lean muscle mass live a life upto 15 per cent longer with better quality of life.

It’s almost a natural instinct to feed our furry companions whatever you are eating. What goes ignored is the fact that, pets also prone to obesity and overindulgence may be harmful to the pet’s health in the long run.

Pet obesity
Extra treat or a lazy day could lead to pet obesity. Pixabay

“Apart from the overindulgence, there are plenty of factors that can cause obesity in pets. Sometimes, obesity in pets could be caused by thyroid problems. However, in most cases, obesity is linked to lifestyle and the nutrition intake,” Kwatra adds.

What could be the ill-effects of obesity in pets?

Obesity in pets can not only be highly detrimental to their health but also cause discomfort for them in performing day to day activities. Obese pets are usually far less active and are susceptible to conditions like arthritis, diabetes mellitus, cardio-pulmonary problems, constipation, cancer and even premature death.

Can this be cured or reversed by administering a certain kind of food only?

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While the emergence of specialized diets would play a vital role in countering the epidemic, together with the veterinarians we need to raise awareness on pet obesity and educate pet owners/parents on how they can help their pets lead a healthier and happier life with proper nutrition. Proper exercise is also crucial in maintaining a pet’s health and it is imperative that pet parents take them out for regular walks. (IANS)