Thinness (Orthofer, 2020)

STUDY TITLE: Identification of ALK in Thinness

SUMMARY: Discovery of 5 genetic variants associated with thinness.

OVERVIEW: Although diet and exercise are important for maintaining healthy body weight, individuals who eat similar foods and exercise similar amounts can differ in their weight. Most studies that look for genetic variants associated with the body mass index (BMI) compare obese individuals to healthy controls. This study instead looked for associations with thinness. The researchers compared the thinnest 1.9% of people (6th BMI percentile; 881 individuals) in the Estonian biobank with people that had an average body weight (30th – 50th BMI percentile; 3,173 individuals) and found 5 variants associated with thinness. One of the variants (rs568057364) is inside the ALK gene which is known to play a role in cancer. The researchers disrupted the ALK gene in mice and found that it resulted in resistance to diet-induced obesity.

DID YOU KNOW? Underweight people often have nutritional deficiencies because they don’t consume enough food to receive all the vitamins and minerals their body needs. It’s important to get enough micronutrients, even when limiting the intake of calories. [SOURCE]

SAMPLE RESULTS: Learn more about the Nebula Research Library.

thinness sample results

THINNESS-ASSOCIATED VARIANTS: rs6574213, rs79938778, rs61685635, rs568057364, rs4521442

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WEEKLY UPDATE: June 16, 2020