A study has shown that sugar may be good for Greenland residents.
University of Copenhagen researchers discovered that as many as three percent of Greenlanders might have a rare genetic variant that permits their bodies to use sugar in healthy ways.
Greenlanders are a result of gene pools that have not consumed sugar for many centuries. This has led to their bodies adapting to sugar.
The mutation makes it less likely that people will become overweight, and can suffer from many health conditions related to excess weight.
Danish researchers discovered that up to 3 percent of Greenlanders are affected by a rare gene mutation which allows them to digest sugary foods in a manner that is as nutritious as broccoli. File photo
‘Adult Greenlanders with the genetic variation have lower BMI, weight, fat percentage, cholesterol levels and are generally significantly healthier,’ said Anders Albrechtsen, a professor at the University of Copenhagen, in a statement.
They have less stomach fat, which might make it easier for them to achieve a six-pack. Amazing and amazing is the fact that genetic variations can have such profoundly positive effects.
Researchers, who published their findings earlier this month in the journal Gastroenterology, gathered data from a pool of 6,551 adults from the arctic island, which has a total population of around 56,000.
Surcase-isomoltase deficiencies are a rare mutation that affects up to 3 percent of the samples.
The majority of sugar is absorbed into the blood stream by the majority, however, a few people send it to their intestines where it’s broken down.
Mette Andersen was the first author, and also an assistant professor at school. She stated that the sugar converts to a short chain fatty acid called Acetyl.
“That’s most likely what’s happening here.”
Researchers point to Greenlanders’ diet for explaining this type mutation.
Albrechtsen stated that it was probably because Greenlanders don’t have a lot of sugar.
They eat meat, fish and fat from seals, whales, seals, and reindeer for the most part. While a few crowberries may have been found, they have had very little sugar in their diet.
This mutation is not as common as people think.
Greenlanders who have the mutation, called surcase-isomoltase deficiency, process sugary foods in their intestine, not their blood stream, leading to the foods being metabolized in a way that provides energy. The mutation is believed to have been caused by the fact that people living on the island had a healthy diet, with low levels of sugar for many centuries. (file photo).
Torben Hansen (a professor and doctor at the University of Copenhagen) stated that younger carriers of this variation suffer from negative consequences because of their differing type of sugar absorption.
They report that sugar consumption causes them to feel bloated, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. It is possible that they will become more sensitive to sugar over time and adapt to it as energy.
This research group hopes their discovery and subsequent development of novel drugs for treating obesity and heart disease could result in a significant breakthrough.
Hansen stated, “We can see the genetic variation gives a better fat balance in the bloodstream which results in lower body weight and therefore, less cardiovascular diseases.”
“If we could develop a drug to block the sucrase isomaltase genes, then, in principle, all of us might be able have equal strong health profiles.”