Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overweight + gene mutation = elevated liver values in children

Date:
June 17, 2014
Source:
University of Eastern Finland
Summary:
A common mutation in the PNPLA3 gene combined with overweight results in elevated ALAT values in children, a study shows. The ALAT value is an indicator of liver metabolism. In adults, this gene mutation is known to promote the accumulation of fat in the liver. The new results indicate that a healthy lifestyle is important already in childhood in order to prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver, and it is especially important for those carrying the risk gene.

A study carried out at the Institute of Biomedicine of the University of Eastern Finland shows that a common mutation in the PNPLA3 gene combined with overweight results in elevated ALAT values in children. The ALAT value is an indicator of liver metabolism. In adults, this gene mutation is known to promote the accumulation of fat in the liver. The new results indicate that a healthy lifestyle is important already in childhood in order to prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver, and it is especially important for those carrying the risk gene. The results will be published in Pediatric Obesity. A pre-print version is available on the journal website.

Overweight is often associated with the accumulation of fat in the liver, which is harmful for health. This results in decreased insulin sensitivity in the liver, making the overweight-induced problems in glucose and lipid metabolism worse. In addition to the amount of overweight, genetic factors also play a role in the accumulation of fat in the liver. A common mutation in the PNPLA3 gene prevents the breakdown of triglycerides in the liver and promotes the accumulation of fat. The role of the gene in the accumulation of fat in the liver has been studied very scarcely in children, and there aren't any previous follow-up studies.

This recently published study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland showed that the liver ALAT values of overweight children who are carriers of the gene mutation are more elevated than those of other children. Furthermore, a follow-up of just two years showed that the liver values of overweight children who are carriers of the gene mutation are clearly elevated when compared to other children. The gene mutation without the presence of overweight did not elevate liver values. The observations indicate that it is specifically the co-existence of extra fat tissue and the gene mutation that causes the elevated liver values already in childhood. Moreover, merely being overweight without being a carrier of the gene mutation was linked to elevated liver values; however, the gene mutation significantly increased the occurrence of elevated liver values.

The significance of the research finding for public health is emphasised by the fact that 41% of the children who participated in the study were carriers of the PNPLA3 gene mutation associated with fatty liver, and 15% of the children were overweight.

The study included 481 healthy 6-to-8 year-old girls and boys from the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study, PANIC. The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study is an on-going lifestyle intervention study, which produces valuable information on children's lifestyles, health and well-being all the way into adulthood.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Eastern Finland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Eastern Finland. "Overweight + gene mutation = elevated liver values in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617093712.htm>.
University of Eastern Finland. (2014, June 17). Overweight + gene mutation = elevated liver values in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617093712.htm
University of Eastern Finland. "Overweight + gene mutation = elevated liver values in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617093712.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins