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University of Ottawa Heart Institute Scientists Unlock Mechanism That Turns on Weight-Loss Gene
Date:2/17/2009

rget="_new">http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstract/fj.08-120998v) The research was undertaken by molecular biologists at UOHI's Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre, led by Alexandre Stewart, PhD, and Frederique Tesson, PhD.

UOHI scientists found that the people who carry the ACSL5 DNA variant are able to lose weight faster when following a low calorie diet than those who do not. About 33% Caucasians carry this genetic variant, as do 50% of Blacks, and 29% of Orientals.

Obesity and weight-related illness have been the focus of major scientific projects at UOHI and is part of a global drive to fight obesity. One UOHI research team led by Dr. Ruth McPherson has been investigating the genetics behind obesity - considered a serious risk factor for coronary artery disease. They are searching for patterns among obese people to help explain why one obese person suffers from heart disease or diabetes when an equally heavy person does not.

"We know that controlling obesity is hugely important in managing serious chronic disease such as heart disease and diabetes. But clearly we also know the problem is much more complex than just teaching people how to eat better and get more exercise. We need to understand the genetics and biology of obesity in order to individualize treatment," said Dr. McPherson, Director of the Lipid Clinic, UOHI.

About UOHI

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada's largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch, shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health. For more information, visit

SOURCE Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa
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