November 2nd, 2006
The analysis of a gene can help us to predict our propensity to gain weight.
A new study performed by Prof.
Maurizio Bifulco’s group, University of Salerno (Italy), has just
published in the International Journal of Obesity (London) belonging to the
Nature Publishing Group.
The study, performed in a group of healthy subjects in southern Italy, shows
that the endocannabinoid type-1 receptor CB1, can help us to predict our
propensity to gain weight and to acquire an high body mass index (BMI). The
Authors enrolled healthy subjects and all through the past 14 years
periodically observed and recorded their
dietary habits, physical activity in the previous years, some clinical
parameters and the modifications in body weight and blood pressure. Obtained
results showed that subject with a normal weight, which haven’t increase
their BMI in the past 14 years, expressed a variant form of the CB1
receptor, the so called “polymorphic” allelic form that was rarely expressed
in overweight subjects and hardly ever in obese or in subjects that
increased their BMI in the past years.
Moreover, healthy subjects expressing the “polymorphic” CB1 showed lower
glycaemia and triglycerides serum levels compared to that without this
allelic variant which seem to be prone to gain weight and to become obese.
To date several new anti-obesity drugs are employed in clinical trials, but
even if efficaciously reduce the body weight their side effects, such as
depression, anxiety, insomnia, frequently set a limit to the clinical use.
Results obtained by Prof. Bifulco’s
group suggest, in the next future, the possibility to identify our genetic
variant able to predict responsivity to anti-obesity drugs and to save us
the trouble of adverse effects.
More about the study here ->