Scientists ID new genes linked to belly fat - 8 News NOW

Scientists ID new genes linked to belly fat

Updated: Jan 23, 2014 03:02 PM
© iStockphoto.com / Simone Vandenberg © iStockphoto.com / Simone Vandenberg

THURSDAY, Jan. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers who identified five new genes linked to belly fat say their findings could help efforts to develop medicines to treat obesity or obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The investigators looked at more than 57,000 people of European descent and searched for genes associated with abdominal fat, independent of overall obesity. They examined more than 50,000 variants in 2,000 genes.

The team pinpointed three new genes associated with increased waist-to-hip ratio in both women and men, and identified two other genes that appear to affect waist-to-hip ratio in women only. Waist-to-hip ratio is used to measure a person's belly fat. It's believed that genetics account for 30 percent to 60 percent of waist-to-hip ratio.

Abdominal fat is a predictor of obesity-related disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new study found that of the two genes that only seem to affect women, one called SHC1 appears to interact with 17 other proteins known to play a role in obesity. SHC1 has been found to be highly active in fat tissue.

"This is the first time SHC1 has been associated with abdominal fat," study author Kira Taylor, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, said in a university news release.

"We believe this discovery holds great opportunity for medicinal chemistry and eventually, personalized medicine," Taylor said. "If scientists can find a way to fine-tune the [activity] of this gene, we could potentially reduce the risk of excessive fat in the mid-section and its consequences, such as cardiovascular disease."

The study was recently published online in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

Previous research has found that mice without the SHC1 protein are leaner than those with the protein, the news release noted.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about overweight and obesity.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • New procedure to help Lipedema

    New procedure to help Lipedema

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:55:58 GMT
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
  • Fixing gerd for good

    Fixing gerd for good

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 3:21 PM EDT2014-08-19 19:21:39 GMT
    Acid reflux disease, a condition commonly known as “GERD”, affects about one-third of Americans. It can cause pain, coughing, heartburn and can even lead to cancer. Now, a simple procedure may fix GERD for good.More>>
    Acid reflux disease, a condition commonly known as “GERD”, affects about one-third of Americans. It can cause pain, coughing, heartburn and can even lead to cancer. Now, a simple procedure may fix GERD for good.More>>
  • Ice cold heart therapy

    Ice cold heart therapy

    Friday, August 15 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-08-15 21:05:13 GMT
    A trial fibrillation affects about 2.7 million Americans. It's a condition that causes heart palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Now doctors are freezing the problem away.More>>
    A trial fibrillation affects about 2.7 million Americans. It's a condition that causes heart palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening. Now doctors are freezing the problem away.More>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.