Why Self Test

Obesity Risk DNA Test

Home DNA Test Kit for Predisposition to Obesity

1 test per pack

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About Obesity Risk

Predisposition to Obesity

If you find that you put weight on easily, it might be because of your genes. There is a strong hereditary link with propensity to gain weight as your genes affect both your appetite and the way your body reacts when you eat different types of fats. Information about how susceptible you are to weight gain can have long term health benefits. It will encourage you to manage your diet and increase your exercise to reduce the chances of becoming overweight. This will help prevent you developing illnesses normally associated with obesity, such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular problems.

The ‘Fat’ genes

Obesity is a complex disease resulting from a variety of hereditary and environmental factors, and can cause serious health issues. Our DNA test analyses four different genes, FTO, PPARG, APOA5 and FABP2. The first gene, FTO provides information about whether you carry a predisposition toward excess weight and will get a greater benefit from exercise. PPARG shows how your BMI can be affected by taking a diet rich in monounsaturated fats. APOA5 shows how BMI can be affected by a high fat diet. FABP2 shows whether there is predisposition to high levels of blood fats.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

Excess weight and obesity have been shown to be a risk factor for many other diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The BMI (Body Mass Index), which is calculated by dividing your weight by your height is used to assess how healthy your weight is and your risk of developing obesity related diseases. You can calculate your BMI using the NHS Choices BMI Healthy Weight Calculator. A BMI between 25-30 kg/m2 is characterised as overweight and a BMI over 30 kg/m2 as obese. 

The FTO Gene, BMI and Exercise

The Fat Mass and Obesity Associated gene, called FTO is a well described gene that may be linked to excess weight and obesity is found on chromosome 16. The FTO gene is expressed primarily in the brain and it is thought to be linked to appetite and food intake. In our test we look at a specific position in the gene that occurs in two variants, the A-allele and T-allele (rs9939609). The A-allele of the gene produces a protein that does not function and individuals who are carriers of the A-allele in duplicate are shown in a large meta-study as running a 40-60% higher risk of excess weight and obesity. It has also been shown that carriers of this gene variant can reduce the risk of excess weight by up to 30% through physical activity. Therefore, people with this gene variant can, with the help of proper diet and exercise, almost completely eliminate the genetically increased risk of obesity. 

The PPARG and APOA5 genes, BMI and Dietary Fat

There are a number of genes that influence how we react to different types of fat in food. In our test, we focus on the PPARG and AOPA5 genes. 

The PPARG gene affects the metabolism of fats and is expressed in your adipose tissue. People with the gene variant (GG) PPARG (rs1801282) tend to have a lower BMI when their diet contains a higher proportion of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is found in olive oil, nuts, avocados and chicken. A diet rich in monounsaturated fats is often called the ‘Mediterranean diet’. Individuals with this gene variant can actively reduce their BMI by changing their intake of fats by eat more monounsaturated fats rather than food containing saturated fats.

The APOA5 gene is linked to the regulation of fats and storage of fat in fat cells and so has a role in the development of obesity. In this test we examine the presence of T>C at position 1131 in the gene (rs662799). Studies have shown that people with a particular gene variant (CC) of the APOA5 gene do not have a high BMI even if their diet contains a lot of fat. These people tend to have a reduced BMI with a high fat diet. However, those individuals who do not have this gene variant tend to have an increased BMI and risk of excess weight or obesity with a high-fat diet.

The FABP2 gene, and Blood Lipids

Blood lipids, such as cholesterol are important building blocks in the body, but at high levels they can also be risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The FABP2 gene (Fatty Acid Binding Protein) encodes for an intracellular protein that affects the amount of fat in the blood and individuals with a particular gene variant of FABP2 gene (rs1799883) may have an increased amount of triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol), as well as a reduced amount of HDL (good cholesterol) in their blood. Blood fats are not only controlled by genes, but for individuals with this gene variant it is especially important to think about replacing saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats to improve the levels of blood lipids.

Genes are one of many factors that affect our BMI and our diets but regardless of which genetic variations you carry it is important to remember that a balanced diet and regular physical activity are important for our health. It is also important to remember that there are individual differences between individuals even if they carry the same gene variations in these genes