SUMMARY: An increased risk of obesity is associated with genetic variants in the KCNMA1 and BDNF genes.
DESCRIPTION: Obesity is defined as having an excess of body fat and is the sixth most important risk factor contributing to all diseases worldwide. In order to better understand the heritable component of this trait, this study performed a genome-wide study. By examining 4,838 obese and 5,827 lean individuals from Sweden, this study identified two novel genetic variants linked to an increased risk of obesity. The most significant genetic variant was located in the KCNMA1 gene – which is involved in the contraction of smooth muscle and in neuron signaling. The study also confirmed the link between obesity and the BDNF gene that promotes survival, growth, and differentiation of neurons.
DID YOU KNOW? You can prevent obesity at all stages of life. The longer babies are breastfed, the less likely they are to become overweight as they grow older. For children and adults, the ways to prevent this condition are fairly similar: eat balanced and healthy meals, exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes for adults and an hour for children most days of the week), and don’t overeat. [SOURCE]
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OBESITY-ASSOCIATED VARIANTS: rs988712, rs2116830
WEEKLY UPDATE: July 23, 2019