Obesity linked to "hunger gene"
New research points to a genetic reason behind why some people gain more weight than others regardless of what they eat.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK have found that the mutation of a particular gene (called KSR2) may cause slow down metabolism and increase feelings of hunger in people who are obese.
Researchers have known that the KSR2 gene plays a role in regulating energy balance and metabolism, as previous studies in mice have shown that the absence of the KSR2 gene may lead to obesity.
In the new study, researchers found that children with KSR2 mutations had increased appetite, slower metabolism and lower heart rate than children with normal KSR2 genes.
The findings don’t suggest that a healthy diet and exercise should be discarded as effective methods for preventing obesity; however, these findings do suggest that there are genetic factors that can contribute to obesity.
Further studies on the KSR2 gene may lead to the development of new treatment options for obesity and type 2 diabetes, researchers said.