There is some good news on the horizon for people that continuously are fighting the "Battle of the Bulge". It seems that scientists have found the 'master switch' gene for obesity.
It would be great if this meant that they could simply "turn-off" that switch for those people who battle obesity. While this news is not quite that dramatic, perhaps it is close because of some of the potential that it brings.
Reuters News-wire broke the story that scientists have discovered the gene that had previously been linked to cholesterol and diabetes also acts as a master switch for many genes that are related to obesity in the body.
This opens up a lot of doors. Do not expect magical cures within the next few days, or even years, but it gives a wonderful starting point for scientists to make incredible leaps forward in controlling the genetic predisposition for obesity as well as controlling both the predisposition and possibly even the effects of many of the obesity related diseases.
What are the obesity related diseases?
Only such things as heart conditions, strokes and diabetes. Considering that the number one and number three killers of adult males in the United states are still heart attacks and strokes, anything that may cut into those numbers will end up saving a lot of lives.
"This is the first major study that shows how small changes in one master regulator gene can cause a cascade of other metabolic effects in other genes," said Tim Spector of King's College London, who led the study, according to the Reuters report.
Obesity is becoming close to an epidemic with the proliferation of fattening foods coupled with the increasing "online" and sedentary lifestyle. Obesity is a huge problem for many people in both issues of social integration and health. Having scientists working to decrease the predisposition and battling many of the horrible medical side effects that the extra pounds can bring will be a blessing for many people.
The scientists found this essential "gene" by analyzing over 20,000 samples taken from British female test subjects. Doing this they found links in many other fat cells to the essential "master switch" gene KLF14. Once they had this data, they did another independent test of people from a separate location (Iceland) and independently confirmed their observations from the original test subjects.
Identifying this gene, which seems to act as a master switch controlling signals to many other genes, could have many positive benefits. Potential benefits range from controlling subcutaneous fat to muscle and liver control, or even directly decreasing the likelihood of diabetes and heart disease.
The 'master switch' gene for obesity that scientists have discovered is likely to generate lots of further breakthroughs that will be directly relevant to the battle against obesity and controlling the health issues and treatment associated with this disease.