Scientists have uncovered a link between genes and favorite food
MOSCOW, 23 APR — RIA Novosti. Genetics from Spain found that mutations in certain genes that determine how the person likes different types of food — for example, chocolate, salt, fatty foods and vegetables. Their findings were presented at the conference Experimental Biology 2017, taking place now in American Chicago.
“The majority of people it is extremely difficult to change their food habits even if they know that a change of diet is critical to their health. This is due to the fact that our food preferences and ability to follow plans affects what we eat and how we comply with the diet. We first tried to find out how genes related to the brain, affect the diet of a healthy person,” said Sylvia, Berciano (Silvia Berciano) from the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain).
The rapid spread of the obesity epidemic around the world has forced scholars a few years ago to start looking for genes that control the appetite of an individual, feelings of hunger and satiety, and food preferences. The first such genes were found last year, when British researchers found that mutations in the MC4R gene can cause a person to prefer to eat fatty foods, and some versions of the genes FADS1 and FADS2 was associated with adaptation to a vegetarian diet of the Hindus and the inhabitants of Eastern Asia.
Berciano and her colleagues tried to find such genes, having studied diet and sets of small mutations in the DNA of about eight hundred men and women of European descent living in Spain. To do this, scientists have collected DNA samples from these volunteers and asked them to fill out a questionnaire in which they had to tell what foods they ate in the last days and put each meal evaluation.
After collecting all these data, scientists have mapped a set of about a thousand mutations, presumably associated with the diet, what they ate, volunteers, and found that genes do control the food preferences of the person
For example, different variati in the gene FTO was linked to a number of eaten vegetables and fiber, and the genes CREB1 and GABRA2 with respect to salt and salty foods. The first section of DNA, as previously believed, scientists are responsible for appetite and tendency to obesity, and CREB1 and GABRA2 are the regulators of the speed reading genes and are responsible for the transmission of signals in the brain.
Some other genes have been associated with certain types of products. In particular, the OXTR gene is associated with the reaction of the body to oxytocin, the hormone of happiness, ruled by love or dislike for chocolate, and the genes SLC6A2, SLC6A5 were associated with vegetable oil and sugar.
Interestingly, many of these gene variants were associated with increased likelihood of obesity, which allows the use of lists of such genes of “sweet” or lovers fat for to help people fight obesity or to avoid its occurrence.
In the near future, scientists plan to check whether these patterns among members of other races and ethnic groups, and try to find other genes related to food preferences.