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BBC News on the FTO gene


Obesity, Diabetes and Weight Loss
  Individual plan

We advise you how to create your own individual plan for Obesity, Diabetes and Weight Loss

With this test we provide a telephone consultation with one of our specialists. It is included in the price you pay. Our medical doctor will talk you through your results and explain everything to you and answer any questions that you may have.

This is where you get the full value of our very personal service and commitment to you.

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Obesity is on the increase and is becoming one of the greatest challenges to health in the developing world. With obesity comes a number of health related issues such as heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and stress on the bones and internal organs such as the heart and liver.

At GeneticHealth we test for a number of genes that have been shown to be significantly implicated with your bodies ability to metabolise food and subsequently effect weight gain. 

Of particular interest are the recently identified polymorphisms of the FTO gene and the TCF7 gene for Type 2 Diabetes.

We screen for the following 7 key polymorphisms that have been reviewed in key clinical journals and are thought to influence and effect your risk of obesity and diabetes.

Our tests determine whether you have the lower risk allele (the wild type allele found in the general population) or the higher risk allele (variant allele).

One or two copies of the variant allele will increase your risk for certain diseases. At GeneticHealth we explain to you the level of additional risk this creates for you and we then provide lifestyle strategies to bring your risk nearer to that of the general population.

This is the key to our work with you. By knowing your risk you can then focus your energies on adopting the lifestyle strategies that we will propose to you and thus lower your overall risk. You will have a very personal route map to follow.

You receive a detailed report via email as well as an appointment to speak with one of our specialists.

This test comes with a pre and post test consultation by telephone with one of our doctors who has been trained in this specialist area.

Obesity, Diabetes and Weight Loss
Price £295


For the technically minded a “genes overview”

For more information please click through to our clinical references pages.

Obesity is a serious international health problem that increases the risk of several common diseases. The genetic factors predisposing to obesity are poorly understood. A genome-wide search for type 2 diabetes-susceptibility genes identified a common variant in the fat mass and obesity associated FTO gene that predisposes to diabetes through an effect on body mass index (BMI). An additive association of the variant with BMI was replicated in 13 cohorts with 38,759 participants. The 16% of adults who are homozygous for the risk allele weighed about 3 kilograms more and had 1.67-fold increased odds of obesity when compared with those not inheriting a risk allele. This association was observed from age 7 years upward and reflects a specific increase in fat mass.
The genetic architecture of Type 2 Diabetes is finally being uncovered. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified novel genes predisposing to Type 2 diabetes, which are giving fascinating new insights into the pathophysiology of this complex disease. Of the genes so far identified by this approach, one stands out as having by far the biggest effect on disease risk. A common variant of TCF7L2, when present in two copies, is associated with an approximate 2-fold higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.
GeneticHealth screens for the common polymorphism in GNB3 which is associated with enhanced activity in the signaling pathways of a multitude of hormones (like insulin and neurotransmitters). In the cardiovascular system, this polymorphism primarily affects vascular reactivity and cell growth of cardiomyocytes. The variant allele has also been associated with obesity and hypertension.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) plays an important role in the regulation of energy balance, mediating stimulation of food intake and energy storage. The widespread effects of NPY also include vasoconstriction, blood pressure regulation, cholesterol metabolism and the pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis. A rare polymorphism within the gene encoding prepro-NPY has been associated with elevated serum total and LDL cholesterol, especially in obese patients. This polymorphism is also a weaker risk marker for hypertension and arteriosclerosis.
Although in some studies the Gly16 has been referred to as "variant allele", the Gly16 allele is the more frequent in most populations. The Arg16 allele causes - though considered the wild-type - enhanced receptor desensitization and has been associated with hypertension. The Arg16-Gln27 receptor variant is thought to cause reduced b2-adrenergic receptor mediated vasodilatation. Heterozygous carriers of the Arg16 allele are reported to have only a slightly ~1.5-fold increased risk of obesity.
A functional polymorphism, the Glu27 variant, is associated biochemically with increased receptor activity. While the Gln27 allele has been reported to be associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome in men, the effect of the Glu27 variant is suspected to confer a significantly higher risk for obesity in women and Spanish men.
On the basis of its biological role in fat metabolism, it has been speculated that the b3 adrenergic receptor may be one of the genes that influences accumulation in body fat. A missense mutation in codon 64 of the ADRB3 gene has been repeatedly reported to be associated with increased body mass index (BMI), a broadly used index of obesity. Although a meta-analysis does not support a clear link between obesity and this polymorphism, ADRB3 associations with obesity are suspected to be gender specific and/or modulated by a sedentary lifestyle. At least in the European population it appears that men are more affected than women.


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