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Sleep cancels out obesity gene

Sleep cancels out obesity gene
1st May 2012

People predisposed to being obese could cancel out the genetic factors related to weight gain by getting more sleep.

This is the finding of a recent study at the University of Washington, which claims that sleeping more than nine hours at night can suppress those bodily influences that lead to obesity.

The discovery was made when researchers analysed 1,088 pairs of twins and found that those who slept less than seven hours a night were at an increased risk of a high BMI.

What's more, they were more susceptible to genetic factors, such as glucose metabolism, energy use, fatty acid storage and satiety that lead to high BMI.

It was identified that a high BMI is twice as likely to be found in short sleepers than those that sleep for nine hours a night.

Dr Nathaniel Watson, principal investigator on the study, commented: "The results suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes or it may be that extended sleep is protective by suppressing expression of obesity genes."

Consequently, those looking to lose weight will want to ensure that they are getting as much sleep as possible, in addition to observing a healthy diet and exercise regime.

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