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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Cityblog Science Club : Riya;s Blog" Genes that contribute towards our sugar cravings

Genes that contribute towards our sugar cravings

Have you ever been in a situation where you had enough ice cream but still crave for more? I have been in this situation while on a beach. Beach is a nice place to relax and welcome the summer vacation. Going to a beach with friends is already very exciting and packing for the beach is more exciting. We had packed a lot of food to enjoy on the beach. There were a lot of delicious chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, pancakes, waffles, and etc. You name it, we had it. After eating all of the food we had packed, one of my friends saw an ice cream shop. Many people were full and their “sugar cravings” was satisfied. However, half of my friends wanted to eat ice cream, including myself. This provoked a thought that why some people crave for sugar more than others? Do the genes have something to do with it?  Do we inherit the cravings we feel to eat sugar?
To investigate whether there are genes involved in the sugar cravings, an international team studied the genes of more than 6,500 Danish people where they found that the people who craved for the sugar had two variants of  FGF21. FGF21 is a gene that provides instruction for a hormone that is linked with the food regulation in rodents and the non-human primates. Additionally, the new study suggests that this hormone, secreted by the liver, modulates appetite in hormones.
  FGF21 is a short form of “Fibroblast Growth Factor 21” which is a hormone responsible for cellular metabolism and regulation. This protein inspires or motivates the body to indulge in glucose, aka, “sugar” which is then stored in the adipose, aka “fat tissue”. People with metabolic diseases are observed with high levels of FGF21. To test the hypothesis that the FGF21 hormone induces a significant amount of sugar consumption, the researchers conducted an experiment with the mice where there were mice with no FGF21 and mice with FGF21. When given a choice between a standard diet and a high sucrose diet, the mice with no FGF21 preferred a standard diet. Whereas mice with FGF21 opted for a high sucrose diet. Therefore they concluded that “the loss of FGF21 increases macronutrient-specific intake of mono-disaccharide sugars”(“FGF21 Mediates”). 
  However, this hormone has positive functions, too. This hormone in the liver tells the brain when the body does not need sugar. If we want this hormone to not misbehave with us, we need to ensure that it works right for us. That means this hormone is ought to stay happy to achieve summer weight loss goals. Here are some tips to make the FGF21 work right for you:
1.     Eat right sugars
1.     Eating right sugars
like fruit can help control the sugar cravings
2.     Eat a protein filled breakfast
1.     Protein helps you stay
satiated for a long time
3.     Detox your liver
1.   Detoxifying the liver

can be helpful 

2.   Here is a link to a

Following these tips can be helpful in keeping this hormone happy!
Good luck and have a great summer!
“FGF21 Fibroblast Growth
Factor 21 [Homo Sapiens (Human)] - Gene - NCBI.”
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine,
Maron, Dina Fine. “Crave
Sugar? Maybe It's in Your Genes.”
, 2 May 2017,
Maron, Dina Fine. “Crave
Sugar? Maybe It's in Your Genes.”
, 2 May 2017,
Von Holstein-Rathlou,
Stephanie, et al. “FGF21 Mediates Endocrine Control of Simple Sugar Intake and
Sweet Taste Preference by the Liver.”
, U.S. National Library
of Medicine, 9 Feb. 2016,

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