26 January 2017

Only 1 out of 5 Russians do not have the main "obesity gene"

Geneticists have revealed the causes of the obesity epidemic in Russia

RIA News

Genotek specialists have found out that approximately 82% of Russians are carriers of a special variant of the "appetite gene" FTO, which makes them prone to gaining excess weight and developing obesity, the company's press service reports.

"Our study was aimed at determining the predisposition to overweight and making recommendations for such patients. An integrated approach to identifying the causes of the disease allows us to find the most effective solution," said Valery Ilyinsky, CEO of Genotek, whose words are quoted by the company's press service.

The FTO appetite gene, one of the first and most well-known candidates for the role of the "obesity gene", was discovered by British geneticists almost 10 years ago, at the end of 2007, during one of the first projects on mass comparison of genomes of European residents. Later, scientists found out that the tendency to obesity is determined not only by mutations in FTO, but also by how it interacts with neighboring DNA regions, as well as many other genes that equally claim to be the main regulator of human body weight.

For example, a mutation in the rs1558902 site located inside the FTO is statistically associated with an increased body mass index, accelerated accumulation of fat in the body and its presence significantly increases the chances of developing diabetes and obesity.

According to Ilyinsky, scientists working at Genotek used the extensive archive of genomes of its clients in order to understand how often this mutation occurs in the genomes of residents of Russia. For such an analysis, geneticists used data accumulated over the past year, during which about two thousand young people donated their DNA samples and agreed to take part in the experiment.

Decoding and comparing their DNA showed that about half (49%) of the study participants have this mutation in one copy of the FTO gene, which leads to an increase in their body mass index by 0.13-0.18 units. For a person with an average height of 170 centimeters, this is expressed in 500 grams of excess weight. Another third of the volunteers were carriers of two copies of the mutation in rs1558902 at once, which, according to geneticists, increased the likelihood of developing obesity by 1.7 times.

According to WHO data, about a third of the world's population today suffers from obesity, and in some countries, such as Great Britain and the Middle East countries, more than half of the population is overweight. According to current forecasts, the number of people on Earth with extra pounds will reach 2.7 billion by 2025, with the proportion of people with extreme forms of obesity at that time reaching 17%, and the number of overweight people – about 46%.

In Russia, according to current estimates of the Research Institute of Nutrition, about 60% of women and 50% of men over 30 face this problem, and their number will only grow in the future.

Therefore, developing strategies to combat obesity and determining the likelihood of its development is a priority for scientists and Genotek in particular today. As Ilyinsky notes, if a person knows about the presence of these mutations, he will be able to develop an optimal diet that will help him maintain normal weight and not suffer from the consequences of obesity.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  26.01.2017

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