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What Causes Obesity?Mayo Clinic DNA research may have cracked it

The Hague, The Netherlands – July 27: On July 27, 2020, the signboards of the fast food restaurants Burger King and McDonald’s are drawn in The Hague, the Netherlands. Yuriko Nakao / Getty Images

Obesity is a big company in America — almost just as big $ 2 trillion-The annual business is big.

According to a Milken Institute study, obesity from chronic illness in the United States accounts for about $ 500 billion in direct medical costs. An additional $ 1.25 trillion in overhead costs resulting from sacrifices to economic production. In other words, obesity consumes almost 10% of annual GDP.

But that wasn’t always the case. In the early 1960s, just a generation ago, less than 4% of adults in the United States were considered obese. This means that you clinically have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of over 30 (by the way, your BMI is here on the CDC website).

Fast-forwarded for 60 years, now over 180 million people, and more than 60% of the US population over the age of two are considered obese or overweight. This doesn’t seem to have hit much overall, despite the multi-billion dollar weight loss, dietary supplements and fitness sector surges. The fact that so many resources are put into the problem with little benefit is a source of frustration for physicians, and the medical research community is finding new ways to address a range of obesity-related health challenges. We are accelerating our search.

“Obesity is a major public health problem, leading to high blood pressure, diabetes, and ultimately heart and kidney disease,” said Dr. Rajiv Shah, a minneapolis-based nephrologist and nephrologist. I am. “To be honest, the current set of solutions (eating better and exercising) doesn’t make much difference, so we all in the medical field use it to address this formidable challenge. I’m anxious for a new set of tools that I can do. “

Recent advances in genetic mapping have embarked on a new path for members of the scientific community that could revolutionize the way we think about weight gain. Medical researchers are beginning to tackle the problem of weight loss through similar lenses, as we all have their own genetic fingerprints: phenotypes.

Join Dr. Andre Acosta, a gentle Ecuadorian-born research doctor and scientist at the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. What started as a research project in Mayonnaise was gradually spun out to another company called Phenomix and is now undertaking venture capital from major doctor-led associations and health insurance companies. If successful in that mission, Phenomix can be forced to offend a wide range of traditional weight loss industries.

“70% of all people who try to lose weight either fail to lose weight or can quickly get it back,” Acosta commented. “And it has a huge impact on health care, from heart disease to type 2 diabetes to stroke. Instead of looking at how to lose weight, you need to understand first. why People are gaining weight. “

The· whyAfter all, it combines two slightly different areas of human science. Scientific research on genotyping, the process of determining differences in the genetic makeup of an individual’s DNA, and metabolomics, the chemical processes that drive our unique metabolic profile, when genotypes interact with the environment. The Mayo team can look at our unique genetic and metabolic fingerprints together to not only predict obesity, but also address and contain obesity, each human’s unique chemical and genetic. I have created a roadmap to understand my profile.

Diagram of four phenotypes affecting obese Americans. Phenomix

This custom mapping of each human at the intracellular level, called the phenotype, allowed Acosta to create four different phenotypic buckets covering 85% of all people suffering from obesity: hunger. Brain, hungry intestines, emotional hunger, and slow burn.

Hungry brain: About a quarter of obese people have neurological dysfunction that prevents them from signaling the brain when enough calories are consumed in the diet. This failure to detect satiety causes people with a “hungry brain” to inadvertently overeat. Because their brains do not receive the message that the meal should end. Often this is obvious to people who need to eat large amounts of food because of the “stuffy feeling”. Their digestive system either cannot hear signals from the brain that they have reached calorie fullness, or they do not receive those signals at all.

Hungry intestines: For about one-third of the obese population, the problem lies in the gastrointestinal system. In these individuals, even eating 30 minutes ago, the stomach and intestines push out a signal of hunger between meals. This may be the case for those who have a big supper, but soon afterwards they start snacking in response to a signal from their gut that they are hungry again.

Emotional hunger: Pleasure diet is the root cause of obesity in about one-third of obese adults. As Dr. Acosta likes to explain, these people have the phenotype of “feeding donuts on bad days and the urge to eat donuts on really good days.” These are individuals who use their diet in response to both negative and positive emotions.

Slow burns: For another quarter of adults suffering from obesity, the underlying problem is low metabolic rate, coupled with overall low activity. These are people who burn calories less efficiently than other humans.

The bad news is: Almost a quarter of obese patients suffer from phenotypic profiles that indicate multiple of these conditions and require more complex interventions.

Fortunately, however, the results of clinical trials so far have been spectacular. A recent study conducted at the Mayo Clinic followed 250 obese patients, half following standard treatment and the other half receiving phenotypic interventions. Eighty percent of those who received phenotypic interventions lost more than 10% of their total weight and were able to lose weight for 12 months, but for those who tried to lose weight with standard interventions. , I was able to lose only 30%. Avoid it with more than 10 percent of their weight.

Fox Business Channel analyst Ethan Bearman, who closely follows the healthcare, nutrition and fitness sectors, said: “The future is here at Phenomix. Companies like Weight Watchers are now faced with the worst nightmares of this new competitor. It’s as if we’re all in the composition of genes and metabolism. You no longer have to struggle with the “one size for everything” approach as if it weren’t unique.

“I also sincerely hope that not only will life change and life expectancy be extended, but the work that Phenomix is ​​doing will change attitudes. Society is lazy or just an initiative for overweight people. We tend to label them as lacking, “Bearman continued. “As we gain a deeper understanding of phenotypes, we hope that the general public, and the media, will begin to understand that the causes of obesity are far more complex than we believe.”

Ross Higgins, Chief Operating Officer of Phenomix, responsible for commercializing the company’s efforts, shares similar sentiment. “After all, our product is a lab test that can be ordered by doctors, especially those who deal directly with obese and overweight patients, and can provide a whole new level of insight into diagnosis,” said Higgins. I am. “The results of these labs remove much of the guesswork about the best way to deal with obesity. Phenotype-based treatment may be as easy as targeted lifestyle and dietary interventions. However, it may also include medicines, medical devices, and surgical interventions. “

“We’re just providing a better tool for doctors to analyze patient data before prescribing treatment,” Higgins added.

Remember the term phenotype. Over the next year, we’ll hear more and more signs of this rapidly evolving field of science and medicine.

Mayo Clinic's DNA studies may have unraveled the cause as obesity surges

What Causes Obesity?Mayo Clinic DNA research may have cracked it

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