Karolinska Institutet Logo Just yesterday an investigation claimed lifestyle interventions to help in the battle of obesity, and here is another article which sheds light on this major health issue. Experts from Karolinska Institutet, Oxford and Cambridge universities and the Broad Institute in Boston, USA have seemingly found 18 new genetic loci linked to obesity. Researchers also affirm the correlation of 14 previously known loci to obesity.

The investigation aimed to analyze gene variants known as individual variations in genetic code. The entire genome seems to be equipped with millions of common variants. It was claimed that most variants are found between two genes. Having recruited approximately 250,000 individuals, researchers mapped out the gene variants probably linked with obesity. This association was present between BMI and 2.8 million gene variants noted in 123,865 individuals. Then a targeted follow-up of 42 gene variants was commenced. Presumably, these 42 gene variants revealed the strongest BMI association in other 125,931 individuals.

Erik Ingelsson, professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet, and one of the principal investigators of the research, added, “We know that hereditary factors play a key role in the development of obesity, and thus in increasing risk of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. What we wanted to do was to identify genes that increase the risk of obesity using large-scale methods that involved examining the entire genome in a large number of subjects.”

While conducting the research, experts affirmed the 14 previously known gene loci and found 18 new loci associated with BMI. Even some biological mechanisms involved in the development of obesity were seemingly pointed out. These mechanisms included neuroendocrinal signal pathways engaged in controlling appetite as well as signal pathways regulating the intestines and pancreas. This investigation is a part of the Genetic Investigation of ANthropometric Traits (GIANT) and has about 100 studies. However, the discovery of 32 loci may be only two to four percent of the genetic causes for developing obesity.

The research is published in the latest issue of Nature Genetics.