Monell Chemical Senses Center demonstrates clear genetic variance in the innate ability to burn fat as fuel. In essence, this means that some individuals eating a high fat diet have a genetic weakness to burn dietary fat and are more likely to become overweight....">

The Genetic Variance in Fat Burning

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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The Genetic Variance in Fat Burning
Carbohydrates and fat are the primary fuels our bodies use as fuel, just like gas in the tank of your car. New research at the Monell Chemical Senses Center demonstrates clear genetic variance in the innate ability to burn fat as fuel. In essence, this means that some individuals eating a high fat diet have a genetic weakness to burn dietary fat and are more likely to become overweight. For example, the researchers found that the gene controlling the enzyme acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase was “turned down” in animals likely to become obese, like having a thermostat set to 60 degrees when the temperature should be 70.

The good news is that fat burning genes can be modulated by nutrition. Some of the top choices to influence fat burning are nutrients that provide the needed energy to produce acyl-coenzyme A, thereby assisting the formation of the deficient fat-burning enzyme. At the top of this list are pantethine and acetyl-L-carnitine. Both nutrients help fuel the production of coenzyme A, thereby providing metabolic energy for fat burning. Additionally, Acetyl-L-carnitine directly performs the final step of cellular fat burning known as beta oxidation. One of the great benefits of dietary supplements is helping to compensate for genetic weaknesses.

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