Predisposition for being overweight

With our test you can easily be notified of a genetically increased risk for obesity. You will also know if you carry gene variants linked to increased risk of elevated blood lipids and even if you have a genetic advantage by eating different kinds of fats.

Excess weight and obesity are a growing problem worldwide, even in Sweden. With our test you can easily be notified of a genetically increased risk for obesity. You will also know if you carry gene variants linked to increased risk of elevated blood lipids and even if you have a genetic advantage by eating different kinds of fats.

Herewith you receive a guide on how to influence your BMI and blood lipids with the help of regulating your dietary fat intake and your physical activity.

The test analyses four different genes, FTO, PPARG, APOA5 and FABP2. The first gene FTO provides information about whether you carry a predisposition toward excess weight and get a greater effect with physical activity. PPARG shows how BMI can be affected by a diet rich in monounsaturated fats. APOA5 shows how BMI can be affected by a high fat diet. FABP2 shows whether there is predisposition to high levels of blood fats.

BMI

Excess weight and obesity have been shown to be a risk factor for many other diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart/vascular diseases. Excess weight and obesity are often measured using BMI (Body Mass Index) which compares height and weight of an individual. A BMI between 25-30 kg/m2 is characterised as overweight and a BMI over 30 kg/m2 as obese.

There are also other ways to measure excess weight and obesity, such as waist/hip ratio. This increase in excess weight and obesity among children and adults is likely due to a combination of factors involving genetics, nutrition, behaviour and environment which are key components in a complex context.

BMI and exercise, the FTO gene

A well-described gene that may be linked to excess weight and obesity is found on chromosome 16 and called FTO (fat mass and obesity Associated). The FTO gene is expressed primarily in the brain and it is thought to be linked to appetite and food intake.

In this test we look at a specific position in the gene that occurs in two variants, as the A-allele and T-allele (rs9939609). The A-allele of the gene produces a protein that does not function and individuals who are carriers of the A-allele in duplicate are shown in a large meta-study as running a 40-60% higher risk of excess weight and obesity. It has also been shown that carriers of this gene variant can reduce the risk of excess weight by up to 30% through physical activity. Therefore people with this gene variant can, with the help of proper diet and exercise, almost completely eliminate the genetically increased risk of obesity

BMI and fat in the diet, the PPARG and APOA5 genes

There are also several different genes that influence how we handle different types of fat in food and how the body reacts to this. In this test, we focus on the PPARG gene and APOA5 gene. PPARG affects the metabolism of fats and is expressed in adipose tissue. People with a certain gene variant (GG) PPARG (rs1801282) tend to have a lower BMI with diets containing a higher proportion of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is found inter alia in olive oil, nuts, avocados and chicken. A diet rich in monounsaturated fats is often called Mediterranean diet. Individuals with this gene variant can therefore tend to reduce their BMI by changing their intake of fats to eat more monounsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.

Even the APOA5 gene is linked to the regulation of fats and storage of fat in fat cells and thus has a role in the development of obesity. In this test we examine the presence of T>C at position 1131 in the gene (rs662799). Studies show that people with a particular gene variant (CC) of the APOA5 gene do not tend toward a higher BMI even if their diet consists of a lot of fat. These people tend to get a more or less reduced BMI with a high fat diet. Individuals who do not have this gene variant instead tend to increase their BMI and risk of excess weight or obesity with a high-fat diet.

Blood lipids, the FABP2 gene

Blood lipids such as cholesterol are important building blocks in the body but at high levels they can be risk factors for heart/vascular diseases. The FABP2 gene (Fatty Acid Binding Protein) encodes for an intracellular protein that affects the amount of fat in the blood and individuals with a particular gene variant of FABP2 gene (rs1799883) may have an increased amount of triglycerides including LDL (bad cholesterol) and a reduced amount of HDL (good cholesterol) in the blood. Blood fats are not only controlled by genes, but for individuals with this gene variant it is especially important to think about replacing saturated fats and trans fats with unsaturated fats to improve the levels of blood lipids.

Genes are one of many factors that affect our BMI and our diets but regardless of which genetic variations you carry it is important to remember that a balanced diet and regular physical activity are important for our health. It is also important to remember that there are individual differences between individuals even if they carry the same gene variations in these genes.


Reviewed: 2015-09-28

  • Fat and health

    Do you have a high risk of being overweight? Can you benefit from a high fat diet (LCHF)? This test provides you with information about how your genes affect your appetite and eating behaviour, and how your body is affected by different types of fat in your food.