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Home / Health / Weight gain is mainly driven by what you eat – not genetics

Weight gain is mainly driven by what you eat – not genetics



If you want to blame someone for those extra pounds, the best place to look at them is probably the mirror.

While the world is trying to cope with its ever-growing obesity crisis, the root causes of this problem are still in the debate. However, more and more studies indicate that the main culprit is food as expected

genes make a big difference to your body – your eye color, your hair, even what you look like. But after a new study, it does not really matter how much you weigh (at least as an adult). Scientists at King's College London recently conducted a study on twins to study how the gut processes and distributes fat.

Essentially, they analyzed fecal samples from over 500 pairs of twins to create a picture of how the gut microbiotom distributes fat. They also analyzed how much of this process is genetic and how much is driven by environmental factors. Overall, they found that only 17.9% of all intestinal processes were due to hereditary factors, while 67.7% of intestinal activity was affected by environmental factors – especially through regular diet.

This is an exciting study, not only because it confirms that what we eat determines how our weight is distributed, but because it allows researchers to understand which microbes are in the gut with which chemical metabolite Connection stand. Ultimately, this could help scientists understand how the gut bacteria affect us and how they can be modified for weight management. The faecal metabolome largely reflects the microbial composition of the gut and is strongly associated with visceral fat mass, highlighting the potential underlying mechanisms underlying the well-established microbial influence on abdominal obesity. Dr. Jonas Zierer, lead author of the study, believes that this could someday help in dealing with obesity.

"This study has increased our understanding of the interplay between what we eat, and the way it is processed, really speeding up intestinal and the development of fat in the body, but also immunity and inflammation. By analyzing the faecal metabolome, we were able to take a snapshot of both the health of the body and the complex processes in the gut.

That's good news too, because that means most of the factors involved are extra modifiable Zierer adds:

"This new knowledge means we are changing the gut environment and challenging the obesity challenge a new perspective related to mutable factors such as diet and microbes in the gut. This is exciting, because unlike our genes and our innate risk of developing fat around the abdomen, the gut microbes can be modified with probiotics, with drugs, or with fiber-rich diets. "

King's Department of Twin Research, Professor Tim Spector was also thrilled with the opportunity to emphasize another benefit of this study – the fact that potential treatments or supplements are being widely implemented through innovative approaches

& # 39; This exciting work with our twins shows how important to our health and the weight of the thousands of chemicals is to produce intestinal microbes in response to food, knowing that they are largely fueled by what we eat. Controlled rather than through our genes is great news and opens up many opportunities to use food as a medicine, and in the future these chemicals could even be used in smart toilets or as toilet paper. "

Over 2 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, and in the last 20 years obesity rates have more than doubled. The growing trend shows no signs of stagnation or slowdown as adiposity in children also increases dramatically: 1000% in the last 40 years.

Journal Reference: Zierer et al. "The stool metabolome as a functional indicator of the intestinal microbiome." Nature Genetics ( 2018 ). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0135-7

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