I always thought that being overweight is due to overeating. However, we are now told that a gene dating back to the cave men could be to blame for fat people piling on the pounds, a study suggests. Around half of people in modern society have the gene, which also increases the risk of diabetes. The gene was common when our ancestors were hunting mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers – before the invention of farming. When agriculture started, another version of the gene which helps to keep blood sugar low, became more common. This mutation allows us to eat starchy and sugary foods such as wheat and rice without putting on too much weight.
UK researchers analyzed DNA from ancient humans as well as 2,504 people today and found that the split between the caveman gene and the modern gene is around 50/50. But in DNA samples taken from the bones of people before farming was developed, the older variant is more common. Professor Frances Brodsky, head of Biosciences at University College, London said: ‘We found that people differ in how efficiently their bodies can manage blood sugar levels resulting from an evolutionary process that seems to have been brought about by changing diets.’
The gene CLTCL1 produces as a protein that transports sugar out of the blood, taking it to be stored in fat and muscles cells. Study author, Dr Matteo Fumagalli said: ‘The older version of this genetic variant likely would have been helpful to our ancestors as it would have helped maintain higher levels of blood sugar during periods of fasting and this would have helped us evolve our larger brains.’
Eating chicken is just as bad as beef for raising cholesterol levels, researchers have warned. Red meat, which also includes lamb and pork, generally has more saturated fat than white. A new study by scientists in Auckland California, however, shows both white and red have equally harmful effects on blood fat. It found that plant proteins are the healthiest for blood cholesterol.
I always believed that what you eat causes obesity. Meat in general should be eaten in moderation, but farm products as a preference in most cases.