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Fatty Food Cravings? Blame It On Your Genes

First Posted: Oct 06, 2016 05:34 AM EDT
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Fatty food cravings are linked with people's genes.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Fatty foods are the most common comfort food among people. And those greasy and flavorful delights are hard to say no to. A current research shows why some people cannot resist these sinful dishes, that's because a particular gene mutation is responsible for fatty food cravings.

A team of researchers from the United Kingdom conducted a study on why do some people find fatty food irresistible. For these type of food causes a lot of problems including obesity. The experts conducted a research on how other people have the irresistible craving for fatty food has.

An experiment using mice was conducted and they discovered that a neural pathway in the brain that involves melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) can lead the mice to eat more fat but less sugar. The experts concluded that MC4R gene is probably responsible for appetite control

Sadaf Farooqi of the Wellcome TrustMedical Research Council Institute of Metabolic Science at the University of Cambridge tested people that have an MC4R mutation and people who do not, on how to react if given fatty food. Experts noted that some of the people who have an MC4R mutation were obese.

The participants were given 3 version chicken korma. It is identical in appearance but differs in fat by low, medium and high. The taste of the food is almost the same. To test if they crave for sweets, they were offered pudding of strawberries, meringue and cream, but this time varying the sugar content rather than the fat. They were then given a sample of each and left on how plenty they can eat.

As a result, experts found no difference on the amount that the participants consumed. But, 14 people with a defective MC4R unconsciously ate more of the high fat korma than the 14 who does not have an MC4R defect. When it came to sweets, only the MC4R carriers disliked the high-sugar option, according to Live Science.

Research shows that people who have an MC4R gene mutation prefer fatty food over sugar. Professor Farooqi said that "Fat delivers twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrate or protein and can be readily stored in our bodies." Too much fatty food is discouraged for it can lead to obesity which is not far to develop heart problems, as reported by BBC News.

However, only one out of 1,000 individual has the MC4R gene mutation. Professor Farooqi stated "the findings did not mean that people were entirely helpless against primal urges. Eating a sensible diet and getting plenty of exercises is important for maintaining a healthy weight."

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