Half of all Taiwanese blessed with ‘weight loss’ gene: study

People carrying the DOK5 gene are less likely to gain weight

(Photo/Taiwanese pole dance instructor Joyce Chen)

(Photo/Taiwanese pole dance instructor Joyce Chen)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Half the population in Taiwan is blessed with a gene that helps control weight and thus allows them to indulge in the pleasure of eating while keeping obesity at bay, reports said.

A study conducted by Taiwan Epidemiology Association involving researchers from Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Academia Sinica looked into 10,000 samples provided by Taiwan Biobank and concluded that 50 percent of Taiwanese people have the gene of DOK5, which reputedly affects the sensitivity of insulin, reported Apple Daily.

At the influence of DOK5, insulin, which regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, tends to increase the amount of glycogen stored in the muscles and liver, thereby helping the human body burn fat, according to researcher Shen Chi-yang (沈志陽).

Individuals who carry the gene are more likely to maintain weight, even if they have developed the habit of late-night snacking while showing little interest in doing regular exercise, the results indicated.

Despite such eating habits often running the risk of promoting a higher Body Mass Index (BMI), for these blessed people there is a 40 percent less chance of doing so, in comparison with international norms. Nevertheless, they could still fall victim to obesity should they continue a lifestyle of unhealthy diet and insufficient exercise, warned Shen, citing statistics that over half the population in Taiwan is categorized as obese with a BMI higher than 24.