Obesity gene linked to hormonal changes that favor energy surplus

June 11, 2014

A new study from Uppsala University demonstrates that elderly humans carrying a common variant of the fat mass and obesity gene FTO also have a shifted endocrine balance. Low blood concentrations of the satiety hormone leptin and high blood concentrations of the hunger promoting hormone ghrelin makes carriers of the FTO gene put on weight. The findings are published in the journal Diabetes.

In the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors, researchers from Uppsala University and the University of Umeå used data from 985 elderly participants (50% females) with an average age of 70 years to examine whether circulating levels of ghrelin and leptin, measured after an overnight fast, are linked to a common variant of FTO.

"We found that elderly carrying an obesity-susceptible variant of the FTO gene had plasma ghrelin levels that were approximately 9 percent higher than in non-carriers. In contrast, serum levels of the satiety enhancing hormone leptin were roughly 11 percent lower", says Christian Benedict, researcher at Uppsala University.

"The present findings suggest that this FTO variant may facilitate weight gain in humans by shifting the endocrine balance from the satiety toward the hunger promoting hormone ghrelin", says Christian Benedict.

Explore further: Appetite hormones may predict weight regain after dieting

More information: Benedict C et al. Brief communication: The fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) is linked to higher plasma levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower serum levels of the satiety hormone leptin in older adults. Diabetes (in press)

Related Stories

Appetite hormones may predict weight regain after dieting

September 9, 2010

Many people have experienced the frustration that comes with regaining weight that was lost from dieting. According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism ...

Childhood abuse may impair weight-regulating hormones

March 20, 2014

Childhood abuse or neglect can lead to long-term hormone impairment that raises the risk of developing obesity, diabetes or other metabolic disorders in adulthood, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's ...

Recommended for you

Diets avoiding dry-cooked foods can protect against diabetes

August 24, 2016

Simple changes in how we cook could go a long way towards preventing diabetes, say researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A new randomized controlled trial, published online July 29 in the journal Diabetologia, ...

New study reveals a novel protein linked to type 2 diabetes

August 16, 2016

Findings from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), which appear in eLife, provide a possible explanation as to why most people who are obese develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A minority of obese individuals, ...

Bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes

June 1, 2015

Bacteria and viruses have an obvious role in causing infectious diseases, but microbes have also been identified as the surprising cause of other illnesses, including cervical cancer (Human papilloma virus) and stomach ulcers ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.