13 Body Fat Distribution Genes Discovered, Some Stronger In Women Than Men
A new study published in the output reports the results of large-scale genetic study, which identifies 13 new genes associated with the distribution of body fat, seven of which appear to have a stronger effect in women than in men.
Correspondence Dr Cecilia Lindgren, of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University in Britain, and her co-authors are members of the international consortium of 400 scientists from 280 institutions around the world, and their papers appear in the Oct. 10 online issue of Nature Genetics.
We already know from previous studies that fat accumulated in the abdominal area (apple shape) increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, even after adjusting for obesity, whereas fat accumulated in the hips, thighs and buttocks ("pear" shape), may actually protect against these diseases.
Thus the waist to hip ratio (WHR), a measure of body fat distribution is now well established as a risk factor for these diseases, regardless of body mass index (BMI), measurement of obesity, which compares weight to height.
However, while there is evidence that WHR can run in families, up to this study, little was known about the genes involved.
For their study, Lindgren and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of large-scale whole genome association studies (GWAS), to find gene variants that may be closely related to WHR. (Meta-analysis is a way to combine the results of several research and treatment of them statistically as if they came from one large study.)
They combined data on 77,000 participants from 32 research and check their results with data from another 29 studies covering more than 113,500 participants. The data showed 14 regions of the gene were associated with-to-hip ratio waist, proving that one has already been detected, but detection of 13 who were not associated with this measure of body fat before the distribution.
13 new regions in the following locations (loci): RSPO3, VEGFA, TBX15-WARS2, NFE2L3, GRB14, DNM3-PIGC, ITPR2-SSPN, LY86, HOXC13, ADAMTS9, ZNRF3-KREMEN1, NISCH-STAB1 and CPEB4.
Already know that one, they confirmed, was at: LYPLAL1.
Regions where they are found include the known genes that help control cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and insulin resistance, and they hope that their identification will improve understanding of why the deposition of fat in certain parts of the body are more closely associated with metabolic disorders, than to obesity.
Although explaining only about 1 percent change in waist to hip ratio, the researchers said the discovery could help scientists find important biological pathways that control where and how your body deposits fat.
They also found that seven out of 13 regions appears to be a stronger relationship with waist to hip ratio in women than in men, which may explain why women of deposit fat differently from men.
Lindgren told the press that:
"In searching for genes that play an important role in influencing the distribution of fat and the ways in which what is different between men and women, we hope to house a critical basic biological processes."
Meta-analysis revealed 13 new areas associated with the hip-waist ratio and shows sexual dimorphism in the genetic basis of the distribution of fat. " Iris M. Heid, Anne Jackson, U, C Randall Joshua, Thomas Winkler W, Lu Qi, Valgerdur Steinthorsdottir, Gudmar Thorleifsson, Carola Zillikens M, et al. Nature Genetics, published: 10 October 2010 DOI: 10.1038/ng.685