Epigenetics and weight gain are known to be interconnected with one another. Though not fully understood, obesity and weight gain are known to interconnect with our genetic expressions.
We know that obesity can cause higher blood pressure, higher risks of diabetes, hormonal imbalances, high cholesterol, and in severe cases, death. We also know those in good shape generally have lower risks of these conditions.
This is due to the underlying mechanisms of gene expression and the parts they play in changing our body’s disposition. These mechanisms can make it easier or more challenging to get rid of your double chin.
While obesity itself is known to cause these physical and mental changes in the body, there are precursory factors that can contribute to the initial weight gain itself, leading the body on the path to obesity.
Here are three examples of physical factors which can affect epigenetics related to weight gain.
Poor sleep can play a considerable part in epigenetics related to weight gain. According to a study by Uppsala University, a single night of inadequate sleep can trigger metabolic changes and gene expressions associated with increased fat in the body and creating a loss of muscle mass.
The study, which was trialled by studying volunteers who were allowed to sleep versus volunteers, kept awake the entire night, indicated the evening of sleep loss caused tissue-specific changes to the degree of DNA methylation.
What we put into our bodies can directly affect us. A diet that is high in carbohydrates and fructose corn syrup directly leads to health decline and weight gain. This is because they decrease the expression of the miRNAs that help suppress fat deposits in arteries. This leads to an increase in fat levels and increases health issues such as blood pressure.
Conversely, diets low in carbs, sugars and high in protein protect against rises in blood pressure and weight gain.
Low Physical Activity
Having low levels physical in the body also has direct correlations with RNA’s in our body.
Charlotte Ling, Ph.D., a professor at Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden, performed a study. This study looked at how exercise could change methyl groups within the fat cells of the body.
This study used a sample group of men who were considered overweight, had low physical activity, but were still within a “healthy” range. Ling studied these men as they attended aerobic classes for six months at least twice a week.
The results showed that without any dietary changes, overall fitness levels improved, and weight loss was found amongst the group. Samples of the volunteers’ cells were taken before and after the study period. The results showed that there were beneficial changes to the genes, such as changes to insulin sensitivity and fat storage.