Recent study has found a rare gene that seems to provide “substantial protection” against weight gain. As odd as it might sound, there are 1 in 2,500 people who experience this.
Researchers examined over 600,000 individuals in the US, UK, and Mexico, and came across some genuinely intriguing findings.
Here is what you need to know.
Rare Gene Mutation vs Weight Gain
A team of researchers found that a particular mutation of a gene is linked to lower body weight and 54 % lower odds of obesity. More data is now available.
The results came from a massive study among 645,626 people, across multiple ancestries, genetic backgrounds, and environmental exposures. The team’s work is based on a new method dubbed whole exome sequencing that can pinpoint many mutations in certain genes, unveiling their effects.
Also, exome sequencing focuses only on some pieces called exons, that control protein. That means researchers can find mutations in protein-coding areas of any gene.
As per previous data, those variations are pretty rare, but when they’re discovered, they “self-identify” causative genes.
The team found 16 genes that were connected to both a person’s body mass and exon mutations – 4 of the genes were already known. Of all mutations, variations in the gene GPR75 showed the biggest effect on people’s body mass index.
“[…] this study establishes that GPR75 is involved in the control of energy balance and that inhibiting its signaling might be expected to result in a loss of body weight,” explained the team.
Of course, there are still many things to figure out and questions to answer. But, so far, the discovery is genuinely intriguing, promoting a promising start.
Previous data have found some “thin” genes in people that stopped mice from gaining weight. However, researchers are still trying to understand that better and determine if that link is causal or just coincidence.