Having a leaner body may not always mean you have a lower risk of heart disease.
Scientists have recently discovered that the gene IRS1, called lean gene is not only linked to the risk of diabetes type 2 but also that of heart disease.
This gene IRS1 does lower fat, but only subcutaneous fat – fat under the skin, and not visceral fat, the fat around organs such as in the liver and in muscle. Individuals with the IRS1 gene may store fat in parts of the body that interfere with normal organ function because they are less able to store subcutaneous fat. This was found to be especially the case among males. Men are more sensitive to changes in fat distributions than women. Thus, they store less fat. Fat stored internally is worse for you than fat stored under the skin.
People, particularly men, with a specific form of the gene are both more likely to have lower percent body fat, but also to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The gene seems to be associated having higher blood glucose and cholesterollevels, both key factors in heart disease and diabetes type 2 risk.
Almost people thought that overweight individuals can be predisposed for these metabolic diseases and lean individuals shouldn’t make assumptions that they are healthy based on their appearance. But now the discovery about gene IRS1 will provide new insights into why not all lean people are healthy and, conversely, why not all overweight people are at risk of metabolic diseases.
However it does not mean that being overweight is bad for your heart health. We mustn’t ignore what we eat and how active we are, which also plays a vital role in maintaining good health.