A gene that is thought to be crucial in controlling a person’s fat levels has been identified by scientists.
It is hoped the discovery could lead to new treatments for obesity and related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes .
Researchers analysed more than 20,000 genes in fat samples taken from under the skin of 800 British female twin volunteers.
They found that a gene called KLF14 is linked to levels of many other distant genes found in fat tissue, suggesting KLF14 is a ‘master switch’.
The team then confirmed their findings using 600 fat samples from a separate group of people from Iceland.
“This is the first major study that shows how small changes in one master regulator gene can cause a cascade of other metabolic effects in other genes,” said Tim Spector of King’s College London, who led the research .
The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics .
More than half a billion people worldwide are thought to be obese.

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