MAY 04, 2016 10:15 AM PDT

Scientists May Have Found Out Why Labradors Get So Fat

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Many Labrador owners notice the same thing – they eat a lot.
 

Why do Labradors eat so much and get so fat? Their genes may hold the answer.


Labradors have the potential to become very large dogs in their lifetime, but it hasn’t really been investigated in detail, until now, why they they get so large.
 
In a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers dig deeper to find out why Labradors seem to love food so much and get so big. 300 dogs were examined as a part of the study.
 
The blame can be placed on a specific gene dubbed POMC in the breed’s DNA, which essentially hard-wires them to be very interested in eating, and less so in activity and mating.
 
Without the proper physical activity, and combined with high amounts of calorie consumption, Labradors easily climb in weight as they devour food and sit around.
 
"What we have found is that some Labradors get fat because they have a deletion in a gene within their brain," study worker Dr Giles Yeo said in a statement. “And this particular gene plays a role in sensing how much fat they have in their body - and so some Labradors don't know how much fat they have and so keep eating to try to get fatter."
 
It is also worth noting that the genetic differences appear to be present in the Labrador breed specifically, as other dog species don’t tend to have the same genetic qualities.
 
The gene is also thought to be an important part of the reward process, which makes Labradors very useful at performing tasks when food is offered as a reward.
 
The patterns are very close to that of the genes in humans.
 
Although human genetics are slightly more complex in deciphering how we decide when we’re hungry, researchers believe that by studying this gene in Labradors, we can better provide obesity patients with the care they need to lose weight.
 
Source: BBC, EurekAlert

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 26, 2022
Neuroscience
Ant Colonies and Neural Networks Make Decisions in Similar Ways
JUL 26, 2022
Ant Colonies and Neural Networks Make Decisions in Similar Ways
Ant colonies make decisions similarly to neural networks in the brain. The corresponding study was published in PNAS.&nb ...
JUL 27, 2022
Plants & Animals
Green Tea Lowers Blood Sugar, Improves Gut Health
JUL 27, 2022
Green Tea Lowers Blood Sugar, Improves Gut Health
A new study from researchers at the Ohio State University represents one of the first attempts to examine the link betwe ...
AUG 04, 2022
Cancer
Fiber in Green Bananas Protects from Some Cancers
AUG 04, 2022
Fiber in Green Bananas Protects from Some Cancers
Starch, a natural, sugar-containing component in many green plants, is present in high concentrations in foods such as p ...
AUG 26, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Billions Would Die from Starvation After a Nuclear War
AUG 26, 2022
Billions Would Die from Starvation After a Nuclear War
In a recent study published in the journal Nature Food, an international team of researchers discuss how a nuclear war b ...
OCT 02, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
In Some Animals, Early Movements Can Have a Big Impact
OCT 02, 2022
In Some Animals, Early Movements Can Have a Big Impact
The Ikmi group at EMBL has shown that exercise has an important influence on the sea anemone.
SEP 30, 2022
Health & Medicine
Glyphosate, Now Found in Humans, Can Cause Convulsions in Animals
SEP 30, 2022
Glyphosate, Now Found in Humans, Can Cause Convulsions in Animals
Glyphosate is the chemical in a product called Roundup that kills weeds, especially grasses and broadleaf weeds that com ...
Loading Comments...