Study: Influence on fat metabolism: Overweight can alter the genetic makeup

Getting rid of excess weight
Many people have been gaining weight, especially in the past few days and weeks. The Christmas specialties were just too tempting. Getting rid of extra pounds is recommended for many reasons. It makes you feel fitter and more attractive. Above all, it is important for the physical health, because being overweight favors many illnesses. In addition, a high body weight has an impact on our genetic material, as scientists now report.

High body weight can not only harm your health, but it can also trigger genetic changes. This has now been found out by an international team of scientists in a large study.(Picture: pure-life-pictures /

Not only overweight due to poor diet
Pushing one's own overweight on "bad genes" is smiled on by many as an excuse. But even if it is mostly due to the diet and lack of exercise that people are too fat, the genes also play a significant role. The genes themselves hardly change in the course of a life, but their environment already. For example through certain lifestyle factors. Thus, researchers have now found that obesity can affect the genetic material.

How Genes Affect Weight
It has long been known that the lifestyle of the parent can have an impact on the potential overweight of the offspring. In recent years, scientists worldwide have found many new insights into the influence of genes on weight.

Study: Cold is supposed to promote overweight
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  • An international research team found a gene that is responsible for obesity and Japanese scientists reported late last yearYear they discovered a fat-burning gene.

    Excess pounds are deposited on the DNA
    However, the opposite applies: overweight can affect the genome. In a large international study led by the Helmholtz Zentrum München, it has now been determined that excess pounds can be deposited on the DNA.

    The study, published in the journal Nature, shows that an increased body mass index( BMI) leads to epigenetic changes in nearly 200 sites of the genome - affecting the genes.

    genes rarely change during life
    Although our genes barely change during life, our lifestyle can have a direct impact on their environment. Scientists speak here of the epigenome, so everything that happens on and around the genes, reports the Helmholtz Center in a press release.

    So far, it has hardly been studied how the epigenome changes due to obesity."The question in an estimated one and a half billion overweight people worldwide is quite relevant," said the first author of the study. Simone Wahl of the Department of Molecular Epidemiology( AME) at Helmholtz Zentrum München.

    "Especially when you know that obesity can lead to sequelae such as diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases."

    relationships between BMI and epigenetic changes
    The researchers therefore examined possible associations between BMI and epigenetic changes. The blood samples from more than 10,000 women and men from Europe were examined.

    A greater proportion of these were residents of London of Indian descent who, according to the authors, are at high risk for obesity and metabolic diseases.

    Changes in lipid metabolism genes
    In a first step, scientists identified 207 loci that were epigenetically altered, depending on BMI.Further tests confirmed 187.

    Further studies and long-term observations also indicated that much of the change was due to obesity and not its cause.

    "Significant changes were mainly to genes that are responsible for fat metabolism and mass transport, but also inflammation genes were affected," said group leader Harald Grallert from the AME.

    Predicting and preventing overweight sequelae
    Additionally, the team identified epigenetic markers from the data to predict the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    "Our results allow new insights into which signaling pathways are affected by obesity," said Christian Gieger, director of AME."We hope it will lead to new strategies for predicting and at best preventing type 2 diabetes and other consequences of obesity."( Ad)

    Overweight can leave a mark on the genetic material
    Excessive body weight not only has a direct impact on our fitness and health. It also triggers changes to the genes. The researchers have now found in a study of more than 10,000 people.

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