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Scientists discover ‘skinny gene’ which slashes body fat by 15 per cent & could be used to fight obesity

A “SKINNY gene” slashes body fat by up to 15 per cent, research has revealed.

Scientists discovered a genetic variation that can protect people from piling on the pounds.

A ‘skinny gene’ slashes body fat by up to 15 per cent, research has revealed

The boffins found the gene, named rs2291007, by scanning DNA from 790 people in Spain.

Around 60 per cent of Europeans carry the gene, experts said — although they do not all stay slim.

Humans carrying the gene were more likely to be slim than those without it, so the researchers tested its effects in mice.

Study author Dr Alejo Efeyan said: “Mice with this variant have between 10 and 15 per cent less fat than their non-carrier counterparts.

“But it is only a tendency — not at all that those who have this ­version can over-eat without gaining weight.”

The study also revealed that people with the gene had less body fat, lower weight, a smaller waist and more muscle than people without it.

Writing in the journal Genome Biology, Dr Efeyan added: “Obesity is preventable, but its causes must be deeply understood to design preventive measures.”

Scientists reckon genes control around 20 per cent of a person’s body weight, while diet and exercise control the other 80 per cent.

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