Do Genes Explain Weight Gain?
Some people eat heartily and gain not even an ounce, while others graze lightly and still pack on pounds. If you’re in the latter category, your genes may be to blame. Researchers let 100 strains of mice chow down on high-fat, high-sugar food. Four weeks later, the mice reached a plateau; some strains ended up super fat while others remained relatively lean. Oddly enough, their percentage of body fat had little to do with how much the mice ate. So researchers looked to the rodents’ genes to explain the weight differences. The researchers found eight genes that varied among the strains and seemed to govern the accumulation of body fat in the mice. Some of those genes are also found in people, offering scientists new opportunities to develop gene-targeting medications that someday could turn us all into hearty eaters who stay lean.
Source: Cell Metabolism, Jan. 8, 2013