A total of 62 genes have been identified that lead to both a higher body fat percentage and a lower risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, according to the researchers.
In the past, obese people have always been more prone to metabolic disorders due to high blood glucose and lipid levels and high blood pressure.
However, a new study found that 45 percent of people living with obesity are actually at a healthy level and therefore the risk for them is no greater.
Associate Professor Tuomas Kilpeläinen of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR) at the University of Copenhagen said, “The genes identified appear to be beneficial to our health by helping to maintain healthy adipose tissue.
“Some of the genes may offer targets for the development of new therapies that lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease by improving the health of our adipose tissue.”
The gene discovery came after analyzing data from hundreds of thousands. The researchers compared their body fat with disease risk markers.
Through their work, they discovered that 62 genes were associated with both high body fat and lower risk of cardiometabolic disease.
CBMR staff scientist Lam Opal Huang said, “We used a data-driven approach in this study that led us to find new genes associated with adipose tissue health instead of the known obesity genes associated with the central nervous system and controlling satiety and health are usually associated with unhealthy obesity. “
Professor Ruth Loos of the Icahn School of Medicine on Mount Sinai, who was also involved in the research, said, “Obesity is clearly a complex disease and not everyone who is overweight is equally at risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases. Ultimately, if we know which genes protect people from diabetes and cardiovascular disease, we can better diagnose and treat people with obesity. “
The results were published in the journal Nature Metabolism.