Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nutritional genomics identifies a potential weight-loss resistance gene

08.12.2005


Friedman School of Tufts: Nutrition notes



Two obese people follow the same low-calorie diet and do not exercise, but one loses much more weight than the other. Genetic factors may explain this phenomenon, according to José Ordovas, PhD, director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Ordovas and colleagues identified a variation in the perilipin gene that appears to render some people resistant to weight loss from calorie restriction. This research builds on their earlier work on perilipin and obesity.

"It is as if the connection between calorie intake and body weight is interrupted," explains Ordovas, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. "Carriers of this gene variant appear to have more stable mechanisms for controlling their body weight," Ordovas says. "In people that have become obese, this leads to a blunting of the weight-loss effect we would expect to see with calorie restriction."


Andrew Greenberg, MD, director of the Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory at the USDA Center at Tufts, one of the scientists who discovered perilipin, notes that in an earlier study this same gene variant was linked with a lower risk of obesity, but in this study, it was associated with weight loss resistance.

"It may make sense," Greenberg says, "if we consider that this perilipin gene variant induces a sort of buffer against changes in how the body burns and stores food energy. It appears to protect against weight gain in lean women, while preventing weight loss in men and women who have become obese."

The clinical study was led by Dolores Corella, PhD, of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, University of Valencia, in Spain, who is a visiting scientist at the HNRCA and a long-term collaborator with Ordovas. These investigators studied 48 severely obese men and women who were following a low-calorie diet for one year. Subjects, who did have the more common variants of the perilipin gene lost an average of approximately 20 pounds during the study period. In contrast, carriers of the variant gene did not experience significant weight changes.

The researchers determined that the difference in weight loss between the two groups could not be explained by the fact that the variant gene carriers weighed less at the start of the study. When asked why the subjects had not lost more weight, Ordovas noted, "These subjects were closely followed during the study period and the compliance was considered to be excellent regardless of the perilipin genotype. Given the difficulty of keeping weight off long-term, the loss of 20 pounds is a significant achievement."

The perilipin gene controls the production of perilipin, a protein that regulates the release of fat from cells. The Tufts researchers’ earlier study linking two variations in the perilipin gene to a lower risk of obesity in women was described in a Friedman Nutrition Note released earlier this year, entitled, "Genetics Research Unlocks a Key Regulator of Weight in Women."

Ordovas cautions, "First of all, it is very important to point out that both of these studies were conducted on the same general ethnic population in Spain. We do not know what we might find in other countries or ethnic groups. And secondly," he adds, "nutritional genomics is not yet in a position to contribute significantly to treatment of obese patients. But we are finally beginning to piece together how genetics might be used in the future, perhaps to help predict who is likely to respond well to dietary weight-loss interventions."

Siobhan Gallagher | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tufts.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water world
20.11.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

nachricht Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity
20.11.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>