Identified five new genes linked to belly fat
Washington – In a breakthrough, that could help in treating obesity, scientists have identified five new genes linked to belly fat.
A person’s measure of belly fat is reflected in the ratio of waist circumference to hip circumference, and it is estimated that genetics account for about 30-60 per cent of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).
Kira Taylor, assistant professor, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, and her research team have identified five new genes associated with increase of waist-to-hip ratio.
In the study, researchers looked at more than 57000 people of European descent and searched for genes associated with abdominal fat, independent of overall obesity. They investigated more than 50 000 genetic variants in 2000 genes.
Out of which,researchers identified three new genes linked with increased WHR in both men and women, and two new genes that appear to affect WHR in women only.
The research, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, is being seen as an important factor in developing medicines for obesity or obesity-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Of the latter, one gene, SHC1, appears to interact with 17 other proteins known to have involvement in obesity, and is highly expressed in fat tissue.
‘This is the first time SHC1 has been associated with abdominal fat,’ said Taylor.
‘If scientists can find a way to fine-tune the expression of this gene, we could potentially reduce the risk of excessive fat in the mid-section and its consequences, such as cardiovascular disease,’ she added. With Agency Inputs