People who are deficient in a particular gene have an increased preference for food high in fat

A study carried out by researchers from the University of Cambridge has recently been published. The study investigates the effects of the gene known as melanocortin-4-receptor (MC4R) on fat and sugar preference. It was found that those deficient in MC4R have an increased preference for high fat food and a decreased preference for high sugar food.

Researchers recruited participants who were obese and had a deficiency in MC4R, and used those who were either lean or obese as controls. There were two tests that the participants were asked to take part in; a fat preference and a sucrose preference.

For the fat preference test, the participants were provided with three variations of chicken korma – a low fat, a medium fat and a high fat one. Participants who were deficient in MC4R ate 95% more of the high fat meal than the lean participants, and 65% more than the obese participants.

In the sucrose preference test, participants were given three variations of an Eton Mess dessert – a low sugar, a medium sugar and a high sugar one. Those deficient in MC4R had less of a preference for the high sugar dessert when compared with the lean and obese participants.

Posted: 06/10/2016 12:20:19 by Niamh Dowling
Filed under: Genetics, Obesity, Study


 

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