[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
92°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]


Researchers at UCLA say it’s not just what you eat that makes those pants tighter — it’s also genetics. In a new study, scientists discovered that body-fat responses to a typical fast-food diet are determined in large part by genetic factors, and they have identified several genes they say may control those responses.

The study is the first of its kind to detail metabolic responses to a high-fat, high-sugar diet in a large and diverse mouse population under defined environmental conditions, modeling closely what is likely to occur in human populations. The researchers found that the amount of food consumed contributed only modestly to the degree of obesity.

The findings are published Jan. 8 in the online edition of the journal Cell Metabolism and will appear Jan. 9 in the print version.

“Our research demonstrates that body-fat responses to high-fat, high-sugar diets have a very strong genetic component, and we have identified several genetic factors potentially regulating these responses,” said first author Dr. Brian Parks, a postdoctoral researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “We found that obesity has similar genetic signatures in mice and humans, indicating the mice are a highly relevant model system to study obesity. Overall, our work has broad implications concerning the genetic nature of obesity and weight gain.”

uclaObesity_and_GeneticsThe dramatic increase in obesity over the past few decades has been tightly associated with an increase in obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And while high-calorie diets containing high levels of fat and sugar, along with sedentary lifestyles, have been considered the most significant environmental factors contributing to this epidemic, the new UCLA research demonstrates that body-fat responses to food are strongly inherited and linked to our DNA.

During the two-year study, researchers measured obesity traits, adipose (fat) tissue, global gene expression and intestinal flora (normal intestinal bacteria) in response to a high-fat, high-sugar diet in more than 100 inbred strains of mice. They identified 11 genome-wide “regions” associated with obesity and fat gain due to high-fat, high-sugar intake. Several identified regions overlap with genes identified in human studies.

For the study, the mice were placed on a normal diet for the first eight weeks of life and were subsequently switched to a high-fat, high-sugar diet for eight weeks.

“We measured the change in fat dynamically, at five different points following a high-fat, high-sugar feeding, providing strong evidence for a genetically controlled body-fat set-point,” Parks said. “Our use of inbred mice strains also enabled detailed analysis of the relationship between obesity traits, gene expression, intestinal flora and diet.”

Dietary responses, as assessed by the body-fat percentage increase during high-fat, high-sugar feeding, varied widely among the strains, with increases in body-fat percentage ranging from 0 to more than 600 percent in the various strains of mice. Most strains responded during the first four weeks of the high-fat, high-sugar feeding and did not accumulate additional fat during the remainder of the study. This suggests an upper body-fat set-point whereby continued gain in body fat is resisted by genetic mechanisms, the researchers said.

Additionally, “We observed high heritability of about 80 percent for body-fat percentage across the study timeline,” said principal investigator Dr. Jake Lusis, a professor of medicine and human genetics and of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at the Geffen School of Medicine. “Changes in body-fat percentage after high-fat, high-sugar feeding were also highly heritable, suggesting that dietary responses are strongly controlled by genetics.”

The results are consistent with the inheritance of body mass index (BMI) and obesity in humans and emphasize the importance of genetics in controlling obesity, the study authors said.

The researchers note that overconsumption of high-calorie, high-sugar food is an important factor contributing to the obesity epidemic but stress that food consumption is only one of many environmental factors that affect obesity.

“Our results emphasize the importance of gene-by-environment interactions, with important implications for an understanding of the overall genetic architecture of obesity,” Lusis said. “In particular, it will be of interest to examine behavioral and neurological differences among the strains as they relate to obesity traits.”

The researchers noted that mice strains with extremely fast and extremely slow metabolisms must be further studied to understand the effect of energy expenditure on body-fat percentage and the likelihood of obesity.

“Our future studies will investigate the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes after high-fat, high-sugar feeding,” Parks said. “We will also begin to focus on specific, identified genetic factors and their role in dietary interactions and obesity.”

The researchers conclude that, based on their data, there appears to be a strong link between DNA and the amount of fat gained when a high-calorie, high-sugar diet is consumed.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant HL028481) and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist award. Additional funders are listed in the manuscript.

Additional authors include Elizabeth Nam, Elin Org, Emrah Kostem, Frode Norheim, Simon T. Hui, Calvin Pan, Mete Civelek, Christoph D. Rau, Brian J. Bennett, Margarete Mehrabian, Luke K. Ursell, Aiqing He, Lawrence W. Castellani, Bradley Zinker, Mark Kirby, Thomas A. Drake, Christian A. Drevon, Rob Knight, Peter Gargalovic, Todd Kirchgessner and Eleazar Eskin.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    Leave a Comment


    HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
    LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
    Friday, Aug 17, 2018
    The Western Association of Schools and Colleges' Senior College and University Commission has placed The Master's University & Seminary on probation after a visiting WSCUC team in March found TMUS out of compliance with numerous accreditation standards.
    Thursday, Aug 16, 2018
    College of the Canyons is partnering with AMS Fulfillment to offer 30 pre-apprenticeships in the logistics field—one of the fastest growing industries in Los Angeles County—to individuals who need job readiness skills to gain employment.
    Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018
    Your personal brand is the engine of a successful career. Having a strong online presence can lead to new jobs and career opportunities.
    Thursday, Aug 9, 2018
    It’s not too late to apply for a year of free tuition through the College of the Canyons First-Year Promise Plus program. College of the Canyons has extended the application deadline until the 500-student limit is reached.
    Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018
    C.L. Max Nikias was formally removed as president of the University of California and engineer-businesswoman Dr. Wanda M. Austin named Interim President on Tuesday, according to USC Board of Trustees Chairman Rick J. Caruso.
    Keep Up With Our Facebook

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
    The JetHawks got some much-needed offense to beat Stockton, 9-7, Thursday night at The Hangar to end a five-game losing streak.
    Offense Comes Through, JetHawks End 5-Game Skid
    The Canyon Country Community Center’s next Sock Hop is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 25, beginning at 7 p.m.
    Aug. 25: Sock Hop at Canyon Country Community Center
    Results of the first full year of Measure H funding are in, demonstrating widespread progress as services ramped up and thousands of individuals and families were housed temporarily or permanently, Los Angeles County officials said Friday.
    Measure H First Year: Housing for 7,500, Help for Thousands More
    The fire that destroyed the historic Big Oaks Lodge on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus Aug. 11-12 was an accident, Sgt. John Hanson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Arson & Explosives squad said Friday morning.
    Big Oaks Lodge Fire an Accident, Arson Investigators Say
    Lawmakers advanced a controversial bill Thursday that aims to reform California’s money bail system though recent amendments have alarmed advocates who say the current bill could authorize prosecutors and judges to promote indefinite pretrial detention.
    State Lawmakers Advance Bail Overhaul, Police Transparency Bills
    Nightly lane closures are scheduled to start Monday on Sierra Highway near Highway 14 as crews begin a paving project in and near the city of Santa Clarita, the California Department of Transportation announced Friday.
    Caltrans to Repave 19 Miles of Sierra Highway in SCV
    The Western Association of Schools and Colleges' Senior College and University Commission has placed The Master's University & Seminary on probation after a visiting WSCUC team in March found TMUS out of compliance with numerous accreditation standards.
    ‘Climate of Fear,’ Admin Issues Lead to Probation for The Master’s University
    Reversing a trial court and an appellate panel, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that asylum-seeking children with one parent living in the United States need only notify the foreign parent of their plans to seek resident status in the U.S.
    California Justices Lift Custody Hurdle for Asylum-Seeking Kids
    1920 - Actress Maureen O'Hara born in Ireland; 1961 "Parent Trap" uses Disney Golden Oak Ranch [story]
    The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with The Friends of Hart Park, presents its, “7th Annual Summer Movies in the Park Series."
    Aug. 17: Black Panther to Close Out Summer Movies in the Park Series
    LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley (UAV) baseball program is pleased to announce the additions of 6-1 utility player Edmond Marcotte, 6-0 utility player Kyle Lathrop, and 6-1 pitcher Austin Grabbit, with all three players coming over to UAV from Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif.
    University of Antelope Valley Adds 3 New Players to Baseball Program
    College of the Canyons is partnering with AMS Fulfillment to offer 30 pre-apprenticeships in the logistics field—one of the fastest growing industries in Los Angeles County—to individuals who need job readiness skills to gain employment.
    COC Partners with Local Fulfillment Company to Offer Pre-Apprenticeships
    Children and young adults need to be protected before heading back to school.
    County Encourages Parents to Stay Current on School Immunizations
    Well, I don't know but I've been told, you’ll never slow down, you’ll never grow old with the music of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
    Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Tribute Band Free Falls into Concerts in the Park
    Mayor Laurene Weste, Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean, Councilmembers Bob Kellar, Bill Miranda and Cameron Smyth cordially invite you to the 2018 State of the City Luncheon to be held on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 11:30 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
    Oct. 25: “Santa Clarita – City of the Arts” State of the City Luncheon
    To keep grass at parks green and lush despite constant use, the city of Santa Clarita Parks division works hard to maintain the high quality fields residents love.
    City Aerates, Renovates Parks Ahead of Fall
    The Saugus Union School District is very pleased to announce the awarding of two grants to provide arts education in the district.
    County Arts Commission, Music Center Awarding Grants to Saugus Union
    The New Heights Artist Development Series will be holding a free presentation on taxes and artists.
    Aug. 23: New Heights Artist Development Series, “Taxes and the Artist”
    After thirteen years of service, Saugus Union School District (SUSD) Governing Board Member Paul De La Cerda announced on Friday that he will not be seeking re-election.
    Saugus School Board Member to Pursue Doctorate; Won’t Seek Re-Election
    LANCASTER, Calif. – On the heels of their longest winning streak of the season, the Lancaster JetHawks are in the midst of their longest losing streak after a 6-4 defeat at the hands of Stockton Wednesday night at The Hangar. The loss was Lancaster’s fifth in a row.
    Stockton Hands JetHawks 5th Straight Loss
    Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Wayne Stuart Habell.
    Detectives Seek Help in Locating Missing Fire Captain
    LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in Santa Clarita Valley tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 17.
    Unhealthy Air Quality Declared in SCV Friday
    1956 - Battle of Palmdale rages over the skies of Santa Clarita [story]
    The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has selected Ricardo Garcia to be the county’s new Public Defender.
    Supes Name Ricardo Garcia New LA County Public Defender
    The seven Los Angeles County animal shelters including the Castaic Animal Care Center will offer $20 adoption fees for dogs and free adoption for cats on Saturday, August 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Aug. 18: Cheap, Free Pet Adoptions at Castaic Shelter
    The U.S. Interior Department is against adding the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area, and it won't take a stand on the proposed St. Francis Dam Memorial legislation because it's an issue for the Agriculture Department, not the Interior Department.
    Park Service Opposes Rim Addition, Defers on Dam Bill
    Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive people in the SCV on Thursday, according to an advisory from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
    Air Quality Unhealthy for SCV Residents Thursday
    FOX Sports Prime Ticket, in partnership with the CIF Southern Section, will launch its TV-web coverage of the 2018 high school football season on Friday, Aug. 17.
    Aug. 17: Friday Night High School Football Returns to Prime Ticket
    The Lancaster JetHawks scored twice and put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it was not enough in a 5-4 loss to the Stockton Ports Tuesday night at The Hangar.
    Late JetHawks Rally Comes Up Short Against Ports
    The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated left-handed pitcher Alex Wood from the 10-day disabled list Thursday and placed right-handed pitcher John Axford on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured right fibula.
    Dodgers Reinstate Pitcher Alex Wood
    The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its crime and public safety information report for Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) for the week of Aug. 6-12, 2018.
    Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, GTA in Stevenson Ranch
    1849 - Eight-pound gold nugget found in San Feliciano Canyon (Val Verde/Piru area) [story]
    Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Aug. 15 - Aug. 17:
    Aug. 15-17: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
    Walk season is quickly approaching, and it's time to turn up the heat in the fight to end Alzheimer's.
    Walk to End Alzheimer’s Offers up New Challenge