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It's in the Genes! Could Genetics Influence What We Eat? Find Out Here

Apr 24, 2017 11:59 AM EDT

Some study suggests that intelligence is inherited from the mother. But genes have got more to do with the way we live than previously thought. A study suggests that even food intake could be influenced by genes. 

Genetics can play a big role when it comes to food intake. Genes can dictate what type of food we eat, whether they are healthy or not. Based on a new study from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, gene variants influence how the brain functions. The new study may be able to help people improve their diets and enjoy it at the same time. The findings will be presented at the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and the organization's annual meeting at the Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago.

"Most people have a hard time modifying their dietary habits, even if they know it is in their best interest," Silvia Berciano, a predoctoral fellow at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, said in a press release. "This is because of our food preferences and ability to work toward goals or follow plans affect what we eat and our ability to stick with diet changes. Ours is the first study describing how brain genes affect food intake and dietary preferences in a group of healthy people."

There were older studies that link genetics to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia; however, not a lot of information is available on how genes affect eating habits. Gene variations make each people unique.

The new findings that say genetics influence eating habits were derived after researchers studied 818 men and women of European descent. Based on the data, they discovered that genes play a huge part in a person's dietary and eating habits.

For example, higher chocolate intake is linked to the oxytocin receptor gene while obesity-linked gene influences preference or lack thereof for vegetables and fiber. Some genes are geared toward higher salt and fat intake. The new findings will also help create specific and personalized meal plans tailored to the needs of every individual.

The researchers believe that the new finding will help precision-medicine approaches, according to a report. They are set to perform the same experiment on different ethnicities.

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