The Thin Gene: a Scientific Explanation of Naturally Thin People


I can't tell you how many times people have laughed when I told them I'm naturally thin. Most people have a hard time accepting that simplr fact. I usually tell the 'non-believers': just like some people have a hard time losing weight, others have a hard time gaining weight.
Well, looks like science proved me right!
Geneticists at Imperial College London and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland discovered the 'thin gene.'
They analyzed the DNA of 95,000 people, and discovered that just under 50 of those people had an "unusual duplication of the genes."

1 in 2,000 people carry the 'thin gene'

One in 2,000 people apparently have this abnormality, and as a result, they have a hard time gaining weight.
When you think about it...1 in 2,000 people? Doesn't sound like much, but I did the math - and it's about 500 people per 1 million, and if you look at the world population (about 6 billion people), 3 million of them carry the thin gene! 3 million people on this earth who are naturally thin!! And I thought I was the only one?! Crazy!

A Scientific Explanation of The 'Thin Gene'

So, want to know what exactly the 'thin gene' entails? A scientific explanation of why some people are naturally thin?
Here you go: (copy pasted from this article)

Normally a person has two matching sets of 23 chromosomes - bundles of genetic material - one set from each parent.
However, sometimes individuals have extra copies of part of a chromosome, or there are copies missing.
This study found that individuals with too many copies of these 28 genes tended to be underweight,
with a body mass index lower than 18.5, compared to a healthy BMI of between 18.5 and 25.

Last year, the same researchers discovered that people with a missing copy of these genes were 43 times more likely to be morbidly obese.

thin gene

The thin gene: some serious risks

The study explains why some people can be extremely thin and have a hard time gaining weight - but having the thin gene does carry some risks.
Apparently, people with the thin gene are at a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, especially men.
The researchers also discovered that about a quarter of those with the duplication had something called "microcephaly." This is a rare condition where person's head and brain are abnormally small. It's a serious disorder associated with neurological defects and a shorter life expectancy.

Do you carry the thin gene?

So, after all those scary risks - you're probably left wondering: do I carry the thin gene? Well, I can't speak for anyone but myself. All I know is that I can eat whatever I want, and never gain weight. I only gained weight when I was pregnant with my son, and I lost the weight within a week after the birth. I just know that it's a lot easier for me to lose weight than to gain weight - and it's something that runs in the family. My dad is in his late fifties, he is stick thin and has a serious struggle with gaining weight. Looking at my dad, my siblings and me - I say: YES, being naturally thin runs in the family. It's great that researchers discovered a 'thin gene,' but I was already aware of it - I didn't need science to prove it! :)

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  1. meme
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’m very thin like some women I’ve seen, I’d say I’m quite skinny. On a scale of 0 – 5, 0 being very thin, 5 being slim/lean, I’d put myself at a 2. My mother is very thin. She’s shorter than me but her BMI is underweight I think, for her height. I’m 5’5 (165cm) My weight fluctuates throughout the month, so my BMI ranges anywhere from 18-20. Still within healthy and not underweight, which is good!

    I like the way my body is, I can eat without having to think about weight or anything. I don’t think I’d like to be thinner than what I’m now because it won’t suit me or the way I like my body to be, and I’d prefer not to be underweight. But that doesn’t mean girls skinnier than me are not pretty or healthy!! It’s their natural body type, and I have my natural body type and we’re all beautiful. :)

  2. Chuck Bagg
    Posted December 31, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    By the way, I just love skinny flat-chested women with tiny little butts. No junk-in-the-trunk for me please.

2 Trackbacks

  • [...] received certification in sports nutrition. Filmmaker: Bing HuVideo Rating: 4 / 5 To gain weight healthfully, eat healthy sources of calorie dense foods suc&…104;e day to gain weight with tips [...]

  • By Naturally Thin « The Pondered Path . . . . on May 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    [...] Folks having this gene are unable to gain weight and have low body fat.  Now while this may sound like an amazing blessing (especially in the United States with our growing obesity issue), the reality is that this condition has significant health issues much like obesity.  In an article by WebMD, Thin Gene Lowers Fat, Raises Risks [...]

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