14 July 2015
A lot of people struggle with weight gain as they get older, with some blaming their genes. Researchers at Duke University School of Medicine found two different mutations in the ankyrin-B gene, which causes cells to absorb glucose faster than normal.
This puts them at risk of developing obesity-related diabetes and the various health implications this exposes them to.
The findings, which were from models in the lab, could help identify the most at-risk individuals who can change their prognosis by adjusting their lifestyle and diet.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study is one of the first "examples of a susceptibility gene that would only be manifested through a modern lifestyle", according to Dr Vann Bennett, senior author of the study and George Barth Geller Professor of Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Neurobiology at Duke University School of Medicine.
The research could also help tackle diabetes, which is becoming a severe health problem for countries around the world.
Dr Bennett said the findings are just the beginning and expects there to be many more genes like ankyrin-B.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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