Do foods modify gene expression or can gene variants modify nutrient absorption? The science of nutrition aims create nutrigenomic profiles based on the sequencing of the genome in each patient in molecular studies that focus on the mechanisms of target genes and in biological marker tests, such as environmental exposure and its effects on the body, the concentration of a specific hormone or the presence of biological substances. With the globalization of science and current technology, food availability has changed rapidly and therefore eating habits toothis affects our genes, which have enough time to adapt to these changes affecting the expression of metabolic pathways of transformation of those new foods. In fact, more and more scientific evidence is available that certain genes are associated with increased weight gain and increased risk of obesity. Thus, two new disciplines have appeared: nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics.
The nutrigenetics It is a discipline that studies different physiological responses to diet, depending on the genotypes of each individual. To do this, variations in the DNA sequence in response to specific nutrients are studied, in order to unmask the relationships between individual genes and specific compounds in the diet. On the other hand, nutrigenomics would focus on the study of role of nutrients in gene expression and of the mechanisms that explain the different responses between individuals observed in nutrigeneticto. The main field of study of nutrigenomics is the interactions that take place between genes by modifying the transcriptome transcriptome factors, the protein expression of the proteome and the production of metabolites of the metabolome.
The study of gene-environment interactions allows to increase knowledge about the pathogenesis of obesity and obtain new evidence to develop individualized prevention strategies based on a person’s genetic makeup.
There are many genes involved in the hunger-satiation processes, metabolism, eating behavior, formation of the adipose reticulum… In fact, a lots of research related to it. At the moment, some of the genes that act are known. Let’s see them below.
Genes related to obesity
Gene FTO. This gene is related to biochemical and physiological processes, such as DNA repair, temperature homeostasis, and regulation of lipid storage and adipose tissue. In addition, they not only influence the increase in adipose tissue, but also the mechanisms of intake and satiety. LEP gene. The LEP gene, which encodes leptin, and homozygous mutations can generate a truncated protein that leads to early-onset severe obesity. Through the action of leptin on dopaminergic neurons, a certain behavior towards food is produced in the individual. MC4R gene. MC4R gene mutations are expressed by altering the subject’s feeling of satiety and eating behavior. Thus, a decrease in MC4R receptors increases appetite and, therefore, favors food intake. ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2 gene. The role of adiponectin in stimulating fatty acid oxidation and reducing plasma triglycerides and obesity may be related to a decrease in adiponectin. In obese subjects, not only plasma adiponectin is decreased, but also the expression of the ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR211 genes.