Your DNA Can Reveal a Lot About your Food Cravings
If you find yourself enslaved by sugary and fatty foods, then your genetic makeup may be responsible for it. According to a new study, the researchers have recognized genetic variants that come in each other's contact to enhance the brain's response towards food that is high in sugar and fat. The researchers believe that these new findings may help develop better treatments for obesity issues. The genetic variants identified by the researchers are situated close to FTO gene, the gene responsible for obesity risk, and the DRD2 gene. The study conducted by the researchers at the Imperial College London was presented on Thursday on the event of Obesity Week. This meeting was hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the Obesity Society in Los Angeles. The research team leader, Dr. Tony Goldstone, said in the Obesity Society News Release, "For the first time, we also found that the activation in a part of the brain called the striatum was increased when those with the variant in FTO looked at high-calorie foods, but this depended on which variant of the other gene DRD2 they possessed. The DRD2 variant alters how the dopamine system works in the brain", reports WebMD.
As per the new findings, the main reason why people that have FTO variant present are prone to obesity is because the dopamine signals the brain to enhance food cravings when it high in fat and sugar. This causes them to eat more fatty foods. "It is possible that people with these particular genetic variants may respond differently to certain treatments for obesity," Goldstone said. To understand the brain's response as the participants saw pictures of high-calorie food and low-calorie food was monitored using the functional MRI. The participants were also made to rank the pictures in order of its visual appeal. After the experiment, their DNAs were analyzed to conclude the findings, reports Medical Express