TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A gene mutation that helps
clear fat from the body has been identified by scientists, but they
don't know if people with this mutation have a lower risk of heart
disease or other health problems.
Researchers in the Netherlands studied two families with
unusually high levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and low levels of
triglycerides, a type of fat that circulates in the blood. Genetic
sequencing revealed that the families had a mutation in a gene
When they drank pure cream, the people with this mutation were
better able to clear those triglycerides than people without the
mutation, the study found.
This may be due to a change in the interaction between GALNT2
and another factor called apolipoprotein C-III, the researchers
said. They explained that Apo C-III inhibits an enzyme that breaks
triglycerides down and Apo C-III is especially good at inhibiting
that enzyme when it's modified by GALNT2.
But the mutated version of GALNT2 does not modify Apo C-III,
which means it isn't as effective at inhibiting the enzyme that
breaks down triglycerides. This means triglycerides are cleared
more rapidly from the body.
The study appears in the December issue of the journal
"It looks like this might be something good to have," researcher Jan Albert Kuivenhoven of the University Medical Center Groningen, said in a journal news release.
However, it's not known whether the people in the study will
have a lower risk of heart disease or other health problems, he
The American Heart Association has more about