Metabolism and weight are a terrifically complicated combination of nature and nurture. Overweight parents are a strong indicator for an overweight child, but is it because they’re unhealthy or is it because of their DNA? We often assume that people are overweight because they eat too much of the wrong kinds of food.  But genetics can play a big part in metabolism, some people are just “calorically efficient” and store energy for times of need, which evolutionarily was a good thing.  Regardless of whether weight is put on by nature or nurture, a new study by a group in Sweden shows that exercise may help change the course of genetic destiny by allowing the expression of healthy genes.  This means that while DNA may predispose some individuals to gaining weight rapidly, there is something they can do something about it.  In this study, exercise was shown to remove a modification on metabolic DNA that blocks gene expression.  They also show that the more exercise a person does, the more healthy genes are expressed.  Researchers also said that caffeine can have the same effect, however requires about 50 cups of coffee/day.  In this case, exercise is probably easier.

link to article: http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131%2812%2900005-8#Introduction

nature news and comments: http://www.nature.com/news/a-trip-to-the-gym-alters-dna-1.10176

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