Study: Obesity Gene In Liver Confirms Whether Low-Fat Or Low-Carb Diet Is Best For You

Filed under: Study — @ December 7, 2007

Dr. James Ntambi says some obesity attributed to high-carb diet

Although his September 2007 release Good Calories, Bad Calories has been met with much skepticism and criticism by those deeply entrenched in the conventional wisdom about diet and health who have interviewed him over the past couple of months since its release, New York Times science journalist Gary Taubes is adamant that the more than five years of research he conducted is merely the BEGINNING regarding the hypothesis that it is carbohydrates that is the root cause of obesity and other health-related diseases in people with a certain genetic disorder making them highly susceptible to rapid weight gain when they consume carbs of any kind. And he’s definitely not alone now in this assertion within the medical community.

Dr. Andrew Weil understood it right away after reading Taubes’ bestselling book as does Dr. David Ludwig who shared his own study recently on the ill effects of carbohydrates on the condition known as “fatty liver” disease. Now brand new research on the negative impact of carbs on weight and health sanctioned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the latest issue of Cell Metabolism is adding yet another layer of scientific truth and confirmation to what most of us who are livin’ la vida low-carb already knew.

Lead researcher James M. Ntambi, PhD, Katherine Berns Von Donk Steenbock Professor of Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his team of researchers have discovered a specific gene in the liver known as SCD-1. It turns out this gene may be the culprit in why some people who eat a high-carb diet keep gaining and gaining weight while others who consume the same diet don’t. Apparently, this gene actually causes dietary carbs to be turned into stored body fat rather than being broken down for energy. Conversely, mice that did not have SCD-1 in their liver were able to use the carbohydrates instead of having it turn to fat. Hmmmmmm…

In the battle against the bulge, Dr. Ntambi said his study shows that genetic liver function seems to play a more critical role than thought that may react differently in people with varying levels of the SCD-1 gene.

“It looks like the SCD gene in the liver is responsible for causing weight gain in response to a high-carbohydrate diet, because when we take away the gene’s activity the animals no longer gain the weight,” he said. “These findings are telling us that the liver is a key tissue in mediating weight gain induced by excess carbohydrates.”

Click here to learn more details about one of the most fascinating studies on a genetic link to obesity and why it proves universal dietary recommendations are foolish.


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