Researchers have found that people with a common variant of a gene that helps the body handle sugar are more likely to crave foods like soda and cake. Sucrose, fructose and glucose — if it is sugar, they like it.
Writing in the online edition
of Physiological Genomics, researchers from the University of Toronto say the gene, glucose transporter type 2, helps the brain regulate the intake of food.
The researchers looked at two groups of people and compared the eating habits of those with the regular gene and those with the variant form of it.
One group consisted of about 125 overweight men and women who were in the early stages of diabetes
but were not being medicated for it. They were asked to keep a record of what they ate over three days, and then to repeat the procedure two weeks later.
The other group was made up of more than 700 people considered in generally good health. They were asked to report on their eating habits over a typical month.
In both groups, researchers found that those with the variant gene ate more sugar. But they found no differences in how much protein, fat or starch was eaten by the different groups.