Bethesda, MDA new study released today in the online edition of Physiological Genomics finds that individuals with a specific genetic variation consistently consume more sugary foods. The study offers the first evidence of the role that a variation in the GLUT2 gene a gene that controls sugar entry into the cells has on sugar intake, and may help explain individual preferences for foods high in sugar.
The study was conducted by Ahmed El-Sohemy, Karen M. Eny, Thomas M.S. Wolever and Benedicte Fontaine-Bisson, all of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Their study, entitled Genetic Variant in the Glucose Transporter Type 2 (GLUT 2) is Associated with Higher Intakes of Sugars in Two Distinct Populations, appears in the May 2008 edition of Physiological Genomics (http://physiolgenomics.physiology.org/).
Summary of the Study
Food preferences are influenced by the environment as well as genetics. Cravings for foods high in sugar vary from person to person, but the reasons why are still unclear. To better understand the mechanism, the research team examined the effect of a common variation in a gene that controls the entry of sugar (glucose) into cells. The gene is called glucose transporter type 2 or GLUT2.
The researchers tested the effects of the genetic variation in two distinct populations. One population consisted of older adults who were all either overweight or obese. The other population consisted of generally healthy young adults who were mostly lean.
The diet of the participants in the first population was assessed by recording all of the foods and beverages consumed over a three day period, and repeating this 3-day food record two weeks later to ensure that the effect was reproducible. All participants were interviewed face-to-face during the two visits to the research centers. For the second popu
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