DNA Digest: Protein
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DNA Digest: Protein


Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a crucial role in building and maintaining our body's tissues. However, did you know that our genes can also impact how our bodies respond to protein intake?

In this blog, we'll explore the connection between protein, the FTO gene, and genetics, and how we can optimise our protein intake based on our unique genetic makeup. So, let's dive in!

What is the FTO gene?

The FTO gene, also known as the "fat mass and obesity-associated gene," has been linked to differences in body weight and fat mass - as well as differences in protein response. 

How does the FTO gene impact protein response?

Recent studies have suggested that variations in the FTO gene may impact how the body responds to protein intake. Specifically, individuals with certain variations in the FTO gene have a 220% increased weight-loss response to protein (1).

How can we optimise protein intake based on our genetics?

One way to optimise protein intake is through genetic testing. By identifying genetic variations that impact protein metabolism, individuals can tailor their protein intake to best support their unique needs. For example, individuals with variations in the FTO gene may benefit from higher protein intake to support muscle mass and prevent sarcopenia.

What are some sources of protein?

Protein can be found in a wide range of foods, including meats, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. Some common sources of protein include chicken, fish, tofu, and lentils.


1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22891219/  

2. Murgia C, Adamski MM, Mannucci C, et al. Genetic variability in the FTO gene influences food intake and metabolic phenotypes in elderly subjects. Front Physiol. 2019;10:1099. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.01099

3. McGlory C, von Allmen MT, Stokes T, et al. Failed recovery of glycemic control and myofibrillar protein synthesis with 2 weeks of physical inactivity in overweight, prediabetic older adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2018;73(8):1070-1077. doi:10.1093/gerona/glx237

4. O'Connell TM. The complex role of vitamin D in autoimmune diseases. Scand J Immunol. 2018;88(4):e12751. doi:10.1111/sji.12751

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