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  • skinny/fat genes = Conventional Wisdom

    Hi All,
    I'm curious what is the research that explains that people are born with either skinny/fat/normal genes? In the Primal blueprint book, Mark refers to the type of genes you have as affecting your natural predisposition to BMI. What is the scientific research that backs this up? It sound a lot like Conventional Wisdom to me. Who is to say that all people aren't naturally predisposed to having a perfect BMI, etc.

    Thanks for your thoughts

    Matt

    I meant to put ??? at the end of my post title

  • #2
    Check out the book "The Biology of Belief." I don't recall the author, but it's a great read. It talks a lot about how your diet, your environment, your thoughts, etc affect your cells, and which genes turn "on" and "off."

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    • #3
      Speaking for myself, you could look at my family and see that all the women on my dad's side of the family are quite curvy. I am also quite curvy, I very much doubt I'll be able to get my BF much below 25%. On the other hand, women on my mom's side of the family are all pretty slim-hipped. My sister is slim-hipped and would be able to get her BF into the teens if she really wanted to. Likewise, both of us will always have the legs of a draft horse. No amount of exercise or right diet will give us skinny little bird legs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LX View Post
        Speaking for myself, you could look at my family and see that all the women on my dad's side of the family are quite curvy. I am also quite curvy, I very much doubt I'll be able to get my BF much below 25%. On the other hand, women on my mom's side of the family are all pretty slim-hipped. My sister is slim-hipped and would be able to get her BF into the teens if she really wanted to. Likewise, both of us will always have the legs of a draft horse. No amount of exercise or right diet will give us skinny little bird legs.
        So, you're say that you come from a family of centaurs? That is some crazy genetics at work. lol
        http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
          Check out the book "The Biology of Belief." I don't recall the author, but it's a great read. It talks a lot about how your diet, your environment, your thoughts, etc affect your cells, and which genes turn "on" and "off."
          I second that, it's written by Bruce Lipton and well worth a read.

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          • #6
            Epigenetics looks like a mind trip if there ever was one (there is and it is one!)

            There is probably no such thing as a predisposition to have excess adipose tissue, although there is one to have a larger frame that requires more fat and muscle. Environment is too potent a factor and considering that it isn't genetics but environment that has changed in the last hundred years, I don't see any sense in pointing fingers at genetics for any kind of body fat problems.

            A fairly recent article by Stephan Guynet made a case for omega 6 content of mother's breast milk causing an environmental predisposition to obesity before a child is old enough to talk. It's speculative but considering that increased volume of linoleic acid in the typical western diet contributes to obesity and considering the increase amount in breast milk it's not so far-fetched http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co...erational.html
            Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

            Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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            • #7
              I don't know any of the science behind it, but I am a firm believer that a vast majority of people blame too many problems on genes. Many people claim to have a strong family history of heart disease or diabetes. Could that have anything to do with several generations of the family eating like shit, smoking, not exercising, etc.? You can create a strong family history of many diseases. We've created a worldwide strong family history of cancer due to our dietary habits the last couple hundred years.

              Same thing with body composition. Ever see a family of huge people? They've got family history and are predisposed to being big right? That is until one of them decides to stop eating and start exercising. Then they normalize and the rest of the family no longer has a built-in excuse. I have a family of close friends going back all the way to high school. They were always known as the big family, not capable of overcoming their poor genes. Big boned, pack on weight just looking at food, etc. Fast forward 20 years later and almost every one of them is a picture of fitness. One of the sons got tired of his 'family history' and started exercising. Rest of the family followed suit and the rest was history.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Daemonized View Post
                So, you're say that you come from a family of centaurs? That is some crazy genetics at work. lol
                that's hot.
                sigpic

                HANDS OFF MY BACON :: my primal journal

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                • #9
                  ANYONE WHO READS SPORTS ILLUSTRATED…THEY HAVE A FEW REALLY GOD ARTICLES ON GENES, SPORTS, AND EPIGENETICS…I WAS QUITE INTRIGUED BY IT…IT TALKED ABOUT HOW we evolved from short fat hairy people who ate tubers, fruits and veggies, and we moved to meat eating causing us to stand upright, to get smarter and to go from slow moving gatherers to having a print ability. They used examples like scaring away a hyena from a antelope or gazelle it killed and scavenging for the brains, stomachs and organs of the animal before the hyena got to it, thus, needing to sprint. It also talks about gene code with disease, like APOE3 and alzheimers…I recommend the articles I enjoyed the reads
                  Get on my Level
                  http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stabby View Post
                    TA fairly recent article by Stephan Guynet made a case for omega 6 content of mother's breast milk causing an environmental predisposition to obesity before a child is old enough to talk. It's speculative but considering that increased volume of linoleic acid in the typical western diet contributes to obesity and considering the increase amount in breast milk it's not so far-fetched http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co...erational.html
                    I would be more inclined to look at formula fed babies rather than breastfed babies. There may be an increase in linoleic acid but that doesn't nullify the effects of the leptin or lauric acid in breastmilk.

                    I think genetics plays a role in your body "shape" rather than your weight. Don't know if I would call them fat/skinny genes so much as familial evolution. Eh..nvm Get Primal summed it up pretty nicely
                    Calm the f**k down.

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                    • #11
                      I think this is one issue that is most definitely not black and white. While I agree with most on the idea that how one lives (nutrition, exercise, stress, etc) plays the most significant role in determining one's health and fitness, I think it would be foolish to assert that body composition is entirely up to these factors.
                      Some people do put on weight more easily than others, and some people's body's really don't like to be below a certain %bf (even with a relatively strict diet and exercise regimen), which makes it extremely hard to achieve such a body composition.
                      Now, there's definitely a difference between being predisposed to weight-gain and being genetically wired to be overweight. I do agree with the statements that people place way to much blame on "genetics" for all kinds of things these days. I guess what I'm trying to say is that while everyone has enough control over genetic expression to attain good health and fitness, not everyone will be a size 2 as a result.
                      Subduction leads to orogeny

                      My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

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                      • #12
                        my impression is that it's not so much that our genes are going to 'make' us be fat or slim, so much as some genes are better able to handle the crap that modern life throws at them than others. Combine that with the effect of your forbear's poor gene expression on your own genes and yeah, you could have EFFECTIVELY fat/skinny genes... I wonder how much we can 'fix' once we reach adulthood and start living a primal lifestyle.

                        And remembering too that 'fat' and 'skinny' don't equal 'bad' and 'good' - maybe if you have an otherwise healthy diet, carrying a little bit of well distributed adipose tissue isn't entirely a bad thing, depending on your environment, and of course for childbearing/feeding.

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                        • #13
                          My mother had five baby girls. Four of us were normal weight at birth, but the middle one was fat the day she was born, although my mother stayed at a normal pregnancy weight during all five pregnancies.

                          This sister was chubby all the way through childhood, even though she ate the same food the rest of us did, and the same quantities. The four of us are all pretty much normal weight, but my fat sister is now morbidly obese. There have been a couple of times in her adult life that she slimmed down, but she could never maintain it.

                          I say that she was born with something wrong with her adipose tissue. Either she is genetically wired for excess fat, or she was a glutton and a sloth in the womb and from then on.
                          Rebecca

                          Right click here to watch me lose 22.5 pounds of body fat and gain 5.5 pounds of muscle in only 5 months right before your eyes in this cool morphing video!

                          Click the banner below to visit my blog:

                          sigpic

                          Feb 2009 - 158 pounds - 43.6% body fat
                          Aug 2013 - 138 pounds - 34.3% body fat
                          So far, lost 19.8 pounds of body fat and gained 1.8 pounds of lean mass
                          Goal - 136 pounds - 30% body fat
                          Still need to lose 6.4 more pounds of body fat and gain 4.2 more pounds of lean mass

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by source99 View Post
                            Hi All,
                            Who is to say that all people aren't naturally predisposed to having a perfect BMI, etc.

                            I can't imagine someone taking a cursory look at every day man and professional athletes not acknowledging a very powerful genetic component to body composition. That's just silly. Sure me and Usain Bolt are genetically both predisposed to having perfect BMI, thus we are the same but he just ate better and exercised more.

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                            • #15
                              I absolutely believe that genetics determines your body type in terms of frame size and proportions. To a smaller degree, I think it influences your weight and composition. But diet and exercise habits also count for a lot. I don't think that someone eating a primal diet and keeping carbs fairly low their whole life could ever have a very high body fat percentage at any BMI, or be very large/heavy.

                              It's always seemed intuitive to me that people are simply different and then it runs in families, because no matter what I have eaten (including large amounts of sugary crap for a few years there) I've always been the same size and similar composition. My father (my only biological relative on that side) has always been small-framed and slight, and my two sisters and I take after him: tiny frames, very thin, balanced figures. Contrasted to my mom and her side of the family, who have similar eating habits to us and have much larger bones, more flesh and are pear shaped.

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