Trying to avoid meat may require more than just willpower, suggests a recent research. According to the study, which was published on Wednesday in PLOS One, there are four genes connected to how well a person can maintain a vegetarianism lifestyle.
The lead study author, Dr. Nabeel Yaseen, is an emeritus professor of pathology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “At this time we can say is that genetics plays a significant role in vegetarianism and that some people may be genetically better suited for a vegetarian diet than others,” he said.
Health, moral, and environmental considerations are among the things that influence individuals to cut back or stop eating meat in addition to religious and cultural practises, but they don’t always succeed, according to Yaseen.
In response to in-depth questionnaires, “a significant portion of self-described vegetarians actually report consuming meat products,” he stated. “Our data indicate that genetics is at least partially to blame for the fact that many people who would like to be vegetarians are unable to become one, as suggested by this finding.”
The study was unable to determine who would or would not be genetically predisposed to vegetarianism, but Yaseen said researchers are hopeful that subsequent research will address this issue. According to Dr. José Ordovás, director of nutrition and genomics and professor of nutrition and genetics at Tufts University in Massachusetts, this could eventually result in more accurate health information. Ordovás did not take part in the investigation.
According to him, the research “highlights the intricate relationship between our genes and our dietary choices, suggesting that in the future we may have more individualised dietary recommendations based on genetic predispositions.”
Connections Between Brain Function And Metabolism
Researchers made use of information from the UK Biobank, a sizable biomedical database and research tool that tracks individuals over time. The study contrasted more than 5,000 severe vegetarians, who were classified as individuals who had not consumed any animal flesh in the previous year, with more than 300,000 individuals in a control group who had consumed meat in the preceding year.
Researchers discovered three genes that are highly associated with vegetarianism and another 31 that may be. Researchers discovered through a genomic investigation that vegetarians are more likely than non-vegetarians to have distinct versions of these genes.
The cause of it can be related to how various individuals digest lipids or fats. According to Yaseen, the study discovered several genes that were involved in the metabolism of lipids and were linked to vegetarianism.
He said that because the complexity of the lipids in plants and meat differs, it’s possible that some people have a genetic requirement for some of the lipids found in meat. We hypothesise that this may be related to genetic variations in lipid metabolism and how they impact brain function, but further study is required to verify this theory, according to Yaseen.
Everyone isn’t successful with it.
But there are several drawbacks to the study, according to Ordovás. Yaseen said that the analysis’s sample was kept homogenous by everyone being White in order to prevent cultural practises from tainting the findings.
Ordovás noted that this prevents the statistics from being generalizable to the entire population. Despite the fact that this study may not offer a conclusive solution, he stated it is nevertheless useful for examining nutrition.
The genetics behind dietary preferences is a relatively unexplored field of research, according to Ordovás, who added that this study sheds light on it. In addition to cultural, ethical, or environmental considerations, the connection of genetic variations with long-term strict vegetarianism shows a biological basis for this dietary choice.