Obese? This may be the reason your neighbour is healthier than you

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The brain is a key element in controlling body weight. This finding could help to explain why people’s BMIs vary so greatly. Photo: Pexels


(Jiya Saini/ Revyuh) — Genetic elements may account for 50-75% of the differences in body mass index (BMI) within the population.

A group of researchers from Université Laval and the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Research Centre examined the genomes of over 800,000 individuals of European ancestry, pinpointing 60 distinct proteins found in the brain that could serve as crucial body weight regulators.

The research delved into the connection between genetic areas related to body weight and the proteins present in the brain. Several studies have indicated that numerous genetic regions impact body weight. However, the function of these genes is largely unknown.

The findings of this study, published in iScience, revealed “that about 60 of these genes encode proteins that could influence body weight via their expression in the brain,” according to first author Éloi Gagnon.

In this study, researchers concentrated on a specific brain area that may affect the sensitivity to food rewards, like the enjoyment experienced when consuming high-fat or sugary foods, as well as cognitive functions such as decision-making and memory. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the region in focus, is also believed to be involved in appetite and the feeling of fullness. (…)

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