New FTO Obesity Gene Research in British Population

RoseTracker| A new study in Britain focused on a rogue gene called FTO finds that up to 14 percent of Britons carry two copies of FTO, increasing their risk of obesity by 70 percent and diabetes by 50 percent. The 49 percent who inherited ust one flawed FTO gene are 30 percent more likely to be obese and 25 percent more liekly to develop diabetes. via Daily Mail

Researcher Chris Church said: ‘For the first time we have provided convinting proof that the FTO gene causes obesity.’ Previously healthy mice were bred to have the FTO gene. Mice bred with the extra copies of the rogue gene were ‘healthy’ but ate more and became heavier than normal rodents.

This research should NOT be claimed to verify a widely-held belief that obesity is healthy and not a contributor to serious diseases. In the early stages of their lives, the malfunctioning mice were ‘healthy’ but fatter, if they were bred with the FTO gene.

Prior research has confirmed the same obesity gene link, estimating that half of white Europeans carry one copy of the variant FTO gene and one in six has two copies. The British study confirmed those estimates A May 2010 survey in the US also confirmed those estimates, but found also that rogue FTO genes lead to brain tissue loss.

The medical reality of the FTO ‘obesity gene’ doesn’t mean that people will be obese, but rather than monitoring diet and exercise is doubly important, and dieting will be more difficult than for people who carry the FTO gene.

Today’s fast-food diets may trigger metabolic activity connected with the rogue FTO gene. Searching now for information on the FTO gene in the French population, we’re not getting a quick answer.

It would be interesting to note if hot-weather ancestry populations experience the FTO gene less often.

Researchers estimate that one-quarter of US Hispanics, 15 percent of African Americans and 15 percent of Asian Americans also carry the rogue gene. We know that more than 15 percent of African Americans are obese, so this rogue FTO gene is not a sole trigger for obesity but an major extra challenge in healthy eating for people who carry it.

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