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Make Your Genes Behave

Posted Mar 16 2009 3:13pm

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body doesn't process sugar well, and it often leads to diabetes or heart disease. But with all the talk of finding "genes" for diabetes, what often gets overlooked is the fact that genes interact with the environment. According to a new study, lifestyle choices have a lot more to do with insulin resistance than heredity does. What you do- or don't do- can actually "turn on" these genes (or render them inactive).

A new study from the University of Helsinki found that a sedentary lifestyle actually impairs the functions of certain genes that are related to insulin resistance in obese people. The study looked at pairs of identical twins in which only one twin was obese. In every single case, the obese twin had greater insulin resistance-- and was less fit. The twin who was more fit- even though he or she had identical genes- had far better insulin sensitivity, and wasn't obese.

Remember: genes loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger. Lifestyle and diet choices actually impact what your genes do. In many cases- if not most- you have the choice to "turn them on" or "turn them off".

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