Do Not Blame Genetics When You Gain Weight, Researchers Say (Study)

Person standing on a scale on the bathroom floor

Diet makes us gain weight more than genetics

People usually blame genetics when it comes to physical features or a predisposition for a disease. However, a recent study revealed they cannot do the same with fats. Researchers looked at the role of the gut in this whole process and discovered genetics do not influence one’s ability to lose or gain weight.

Why do we actually gain weight?

A team of researchers from King’s College in London were curious about the weight gain process and the role of the gut in this whole thing. Therefore, they selected 393 pairs of twins and looked at how the colon processed and distributed fats on the body. For this, they needed to look at the rich gut microbiome.

Therefore, they collected stool samples from all the participants and then studied the bacteria present in them. This way, they could identify certain genetic markers of fats that signaled the presence of adipose tissue on the waist. On top of that, they discovered something even more interesting about how we gain weight.

External factors influence weight gain more than genetics

It turns out we shouldn’t blame genetics if we have a few extra kilos. While our genes might have some influence the whole weight gain process, external factors were a lot more important. For instance, only 17.9 percent of the gut processes that caused people to gain weight were genetic. In contrast, 67.7 percent of them were influenced by the diet.

Even so, these results can still be helpful. Since we don’t inherit a predisposition to gain weight, we cannot alter genes to avoid obesity. However, we might work on the gut microbiome instead. If we change the response of these microbes to certain foods, we might be able to prevent some cases of morbid weight gain.

The fact that external factors are more likely to make us fat is actually good news. Instead of working on the genetic field that is hard to tackle, we can actually use foods for therapeutic purposes. The study on this interesting mechanism was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

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