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Interleukin Genetics and Metagenics Initiate Research Collaboration
Date:5/10/2011

sity Taskforce estimates there are about 1.1 billion overweight and 350 million obese individuals worldwide and these numbers are expected to grow significantly in the next decade. In the U.S., prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in the past 25 years. Nearly two-thirds of adults are believed to be overweight or obese. Overweight and obese subjects are at a higher risk of developing one or more serious medical conditions including hypertension, dyslipidemia, heart diseases and diabetes. In the past few years public health agencies have been developing strategies and methods to combat this complex etiology.

Human obesity arises from the interactions of multiple genes, environmental factors and behaviors, and renders management and prevention of obesity very challenging. According to the World Health Organization, the lack of physical activity and easy availability of palatable foods are the principle characteristics of our modern lifestyle that have contributed to obesity worldwide. There is substantial evidence that individuals respond differently in terms of weight gain or weight loss to caloric increases or restrictions, and much of this variance is attributable to genetics. Genetics determines an individual's susceptibility to become obese when exposed to an unfavorable environment, as well as the way a person can respond to diet and exercise. In recent years there has been extensive research on gene variations (such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) associated with obesity. Other genetic studies have focused on gene-environment interactions involved in body weight differences. These studies have identified a number of SNPs that respond to diet or exercise. For example, certain SNPs make some people more sensitive to the amount of fat in the diet, while other SNPs make some people more resistant to exercise-induced weight loss.

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