The Gene That Controls Obesity
Researchers at King’s College London have discovered the master gene that controls obesity and have published their findings in the journal of Nature Genetics. The gene called KLF14 is the master switch or gene that controls obesity and other fat genes.
Worldwide a half a billion people are obese, or one in ten adults. In addition, obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. It is hoped that discovery of KLF14 will lead to treatments to target metabolic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
In the United States alone, $147 billion dollars are spent annually on obesity-related diseases.
KLF14 is also linked to cholesterol. KLF14 controls genes that determine body mass index, obesity, insulin and glucose levels, too.
An active KLF14 is inherited from the mother. The gene inherited from the father is inactive. KLF14 affects the way subcutaneous fat is distributed in the body and this contributes to diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
For the study published in Nature Genetics 20,000 genes in subcutaneous fat from 800 female twins from the United Kingdom were studied. It is hoped that this study will lead to further discoveries and treatments to combat one of the fastest growing health problems in the US and abroad – obesity.
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