MAY 04, 2016 10:15 AM PDT

Scientists May Have Found Out Why Labradors Get So Fat

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
AUG 24, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 24, 2018
What's the deal with Florida's red tide?
Have you ever seen a red tide? If you live in Florida near the coast, it’s unlikely that you’ve been able to avoid them. But do you really unde...
AUG 28, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 28, 2018
African savannas are emitting three times the CO2 than thought
The Miombo woodlands extend over 2.5 million square kilometers across Africa, passing through Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. This ecosystem provi...
SEP 17, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2018
Luck Enabled Scientists to Monitor a Leatherback Sea Turtle Throughout Hurricane Florence
If you’re a sea turtle, and a hurricane is headed right for your turf, what do you do? Scientists can loosely answer this question thanks to years&rs...
OCT 09, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 09, 2018
Study Suggests Courteous Chimps Live Longer Lives
There are two kinds of chimpanzees in this world: 1) those that act aggressive toward others to assert their dominance over the rest of the troop, and 2) t...
OCT 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 24, 2018
Researchers Accidentally Discover a New Crocodile Species
In most cases, the discovery of a new animal species would be considered a positive finding in the scientific community. But the circumstances surrounding...
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Researchers Link Sunfish Brain Size to Specific Habitats
To most people, a specific fish species would be the same whether it was found at the shoreline or in the middle of the ocean. But according to research pu...
Loading Comments...