Group of scientists home in on the real ‘fat gene’
By Melissa Healy LOS ANGELES TIMES
If you’re a student of fat, you know that the FTO gene is the one thought to be most responsible for some people’s inherited propensity to become obese. Well, forget that.
A multinational group of geneticists has discovered that, more likely, the real obesity gene is named IRX3, and it is very far from the FTO gene, or would be if DNA were stretched out in linear fashion instead of coiled up like a skein of yarn.
In a recent letter to the website of the journal Nature, University of Chicago geneticists Scott Smemo and Marcelo A. Nobrega, along with a team of Canadian and Spanish researchers, wrote that geneticists hunting for the obesity gene appear to have fallen into a trap: They assumed that genetic variations they could see have only local effects and do not affect the workings of far-away genes.
Geneticists had designated the FTO gene the key obesity gene merely because it was near some oft-seen obesity-related genetic variations in the “intron,” the 70 percent of DNA once thought to be “junk” because genes there don’t code for protein production.
- Instead, Smemo and Nobrega’s team conducted a series of experiments that found that the obesity-related “single nucleotide polymorphisms,” or SNPs, seen in the intron might not even act on the FTO gene, or at least not only on the FTO gene. The SNPs that most often make mice and humans alike gain too much weight act on the IRX3 gene: When these genetic variations switch on the IRX3 gene, mice become chubby; have less “brown” fat, which helps burn up white fat; and have poorer metabolic function.
The group also discerned that IRX3 expressed itself in the brain’s hypothalamus, a key node in the brain’s hunger-and-satiety circuitry. It was also found in organs and fat cells, suggesting it might play a role in metabolism as well.
When the IRX3 gene was activated, mice and people were likelier to be obese and to have diabetes. When mice were bred without the IRX3 gene, they were lean, even when fed a high-fat diet.
Nobrega said scientists had begun to question whether FTO was the gene regulated by the SNPs they routinely found in the obese, in part because people born with a genetic deletion of the FTO gene have lots of problems, but obesity isn’t one of them.
- Nobrega said that the study of genetic interactions might offer targets for the development of drugs or other therapies, “but this is way down the road.”
It is tiresome to be continually made aware how resistant medical science is to truly observing the miracles nature has given us. When something about the body is off kilter, instinct if nothing else should make us wonder what the cause is — and set about to look, probe, go back to basics and/or start over. Something has caused the problem. A full study of the body is part of all standard medical training as is biology and chemistry. These classifications are not isolated from one another, they act together in unison harmoniously in stasis. But this is not the way of modern medicine as it was say in Hippocrates’ day [the father of medicine, who said ‘Let food be thy Medicine’
In the presence of ANY manifested disorder, the reflex action is to determine which pharmaceutical is most appropriate for treatment in the disease. Obesity has proven so impervious to treatment that it is one of the areas totally ripe for “genetic research”. One hopes for success by finding the right gene which is causing the trouble. They feel this way about cancer, alzheimers, diabetes and an assortment of other disorders. And while it is expensive “research”, it can potentially provide an enormous additional revenue stream – down the road.
The world of Medicine appears to be just another facet of the world of Business — the bottom line is what it is all about.
People can live in fear of cancer, heart disease, or diabetes… because these diseases seem to “run in the family.” Perhaps they are convinced they have “fat genes.” because many in the family are overweight, which may suggest that genetics might have something to do with it? But it’s not true! You aren’t a victim to your “Genes,” Genetics may have set the stage… but it is your choices that will determine how your life plays out. And this is based on solid scientific research in the field of EPIGENETICS which is the study of how outside factors other than your DNA – factors in your environment – are what ultimately determine how your genes behave.
What are these “factors in your environment”? Well, can be the foods you put into your body… the chemicals in your life or other toxins you ingest or use on your skin… the water you drink… your sleep and exercise patterns… even the amount of sunlight you get… all of these factors (e.g. choices) have a major impact on the way your genes express themselves. Make the right choices, and you can overcome almost any genetic predisposition and live a healthy, ideal life. (kinda like I have with my family’s Alzheimers – both parents also in wheel chairs, crippled with arthritis as well. Mother had fled with me when I was only two. . . she took off and we lived far away, so one can’t say they suffered the same fate because they lived the same life or ate the same thing — they didn’t.) Don’t tell me it can’t be done! Around 10 or so years ago, I grieved for almost 2 years, feeling sorry for myself because I knew the symptoms of Alzheimers so well having lived thru it with Mother to her last breath. I didn’t know how I was going to cope as my granddaughters had just got to middle school and I was failing. So much left to do. Pity party wasn’t helping me at all, finally able to muster strength of purpose and rest is kinda history. I feel I’ve been quite successful in that I still function pretty well. But I keep learning and the latest addition to my list of supplements is Niacinamide (learned from Dr Wright’s newsletters). Heard Blaylock describing it too for mental assistance in different problems. My Amino acids are definitely helping as well. And of course, my coconut oil. . .still a challenge to get the tablespoons full I need to consume daily. There I go again – always about me!
The central truth remains. . .You Are What You Eat! So we need to honor our bodies by not only giving them what they need to survive and recognize, but also to protect them from the harshness of chemicals, toxins and artificial or manufactured so-called foodstuff.
Its our choices. And this is the message from so many fine physicians and healers who have been seen right here on “smokinchoices” — proudly. We’ve had so many such as Andrew Saul, Stephen Sinatra, Jonathan Wright, Russell Blaylock, Mark Hyman, Joel Fuhrman, Donna Gates, JJ Virgin, The Gerson Therapy, John McDougall, Loren Cordain and David Wolfe, and probably so many more have been shown here. The funny thing is, none of these magnificent people are dwelling on losing weight or concentrating on calories — all are interested in HEALTH, building one’s immune system and strength to enable maximum well-being and joy. When that happens, the body rights itself. When the correct nutrients are received, the ceaseless hunger normalizes and the weight drops away. (giving up dairy and grains – it goes much easier while dramatically improving health!)
What everybody needs is a little help to understand what’s going on, how to get from here to there. And that’s why I’m here, to help in the search. It seems complex, but its so simple and easy, and it can be and should be fun. . .and rewarding. G’nite my friends. Jan)