advertisement
22 November 2010

Genes linked to puberty, body fat in girls

Scientists have pinpointed 30 genes that control the timing of puberty in females, which may also play a role in body weight regulation.

0

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

Scientists have pinpointed 30 genes that control the timing of puberty in females. They also believe many of these genes also play a role in body weight regulation or fat metabolism.

The international team of researchers analysed 32 genome-wide association studies that included more than 87,000 women from Australia, Europe and the US. Thet then performed replication studies in another group of almost 15,000 women.

In addition to the two genes already known to play a role in the timing of puberty, the team identified 30 new genes and suggestive evidence for another 10 genes.

The newly identified genes include four that have previously been associated with body mass index (a clinical measure of ewight), three that play a role in metabolism, and three that play a role in hormone regulation, according to the report, which is scheduled to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature Genetics.

Puberty and weight loss

"Our study found genes involved in hormone regulation, cell development and other biological pathways associated with mechanisms age at menarche [onset of first menstruation], which shows that the timing of puberty is controlled by a complex range of biological processes," senior author Dr Joanne Murabito, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said.

"Several of the genes for menarche have been associated with body weight and obesity in other studies suggesting some women may have a genetic susceptibility to weight gain and early puberty," she added.

"It is important to understand that these 'genetic factors' can be modified by changes in lifestyle. Efforts to reduce or prevent childhood obesity should in turn help reduce the early onset of puberty in girls."


(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)


(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

More:

TeenNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Wasting water? »

South Africa is facing a water crisis Water saving tips Water quality report shocks

SEE: How much water do you use per day?

With level 4 water restrictions in Cape Town, residents are urged to use a maximum of 100 litres per person per day. Here’s how quickly it adds up.

Life saving tip! »

SEE: 10 things to keep in your first aid kit 10 first aid myths

Here's why you need a first aid kit in the car

Emergency services are often spread thin, especially when storms and major disasters strike. When travelling on the road, having a well-stocked first aid kit could be a lifesaver.