Insulin resistance is a very complex condition wherein a multitude of factors play a key role. There are intricate metabolic pathways and traits involved which govern the condition. Besides this, environmental and genetic factors are also a key component in the advent of insulin resistance conditions. For long, studies have been carried out to gain better insight into the health implications and underlying genetic factors. The genome-wide association studies have provided a lot of advancement in unveiling the genes behind the insulin resistance condition. There is no doubt that such huge studies would have brought multiple gene variants in the forefront that guide conditions like insulin resistance. However, in this article, we will highlight only some of the most common genetic variants having a profound impact on the condition.
Genes like TCFL2, PPARG, FTO and more are widely known to be involved in insulin resistance conditions. For this, the genes are present with one of three common types of allele variants. These mutations (or variants) in the genes alter their normal functioning leading to an imbalance in metabolic functioning and especially in pathways like insulin, glucose, and lipid metabolism. Let’s gain a better understanding of individual genes and subsequent mutation leading to insulin resistance conditions.
TCFL2 (Transcription factor 7 like 2) gene
TCFL2 gene encodes for a transcription factor which plays a key role in regulating the blood glucose balance. Any alteration in the gene encoding this factor can hugely impact this glucose homeostasis in the body of an individual leading to increase susceptibility towards insulin resistance. This mainly occurs when there is C to T variation in the gene. Therefore, individuals with TT genotypes for the TCFL2 gene will have a high risk of insulin resistance. This is known to occur mainly in response to saturated fat and not carbohydrate ingestion. An individual with a bad variation in TCFL2 also faces difficulty in weight loss. Hence, such individuals are suggested to undertake a hypo calorie and low-fat diet along with the requisite exercise regime.
FTO (Fat Mass and Obesity) gene
FTO gene is known to play a crucial role in regulating appetite, energy intake, and expenditure. Alteration in the gene encoding for FTO is known for predisposition to health conditions like insulin resistance and obesity. This mainly occurs when an individual carries T to A variation in the FTO gene. As a result of this, people with an A allele suffer from increased BMI (Body Mass Index), body fat percentage, waist circumference. Besides this, individuals with such mutations are known to be highly susceptible to insulin resistance and diabetes due to high fat intake.
PPARG (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor) gene
PPARG gene encodes for the protein receptor which plays a role in fat metabolism within a cell. This protein is produced abundantly within fat cells and is important for the production of new fat cells. Any mutation in the gene can lead to reduced BMI and obese conditions due to reduced efficiency of the protein. This gene has three variants due to C to G alterations. Individuals with genotype CC are considered to be highly sensitive to the type of fat intake which leads to obesity and insulin resistance. Whereas, the genotype with G variations are considered to be good as they have low sensitivity towards the fat.
Like TCFL2, FTO and PPARG there are other genes such as ADBR, VDR, FABP2, HLA DQ, and more which govern the increased sensitivity towards insulin. This over a period of time if ignored can lead to diabetes or insulin resistance. That’s why knowing your genes with genetic testing, helps you know about your condition better. This way an individual can chart out their lifestyle and associated habits to prevent the predisposition to any such health issues. This becomes very critical in conditions like insulin resistance associated with PCOS, wherein females suffer hormonal imbalance leading to impaired metabolic performance.