Know Your Genes: MTHFR “Folic Acid Gene”
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Know Your Genes: LIPC “HDL Gene”
April 20, 2017

Know Your Genes: DRD2 “Dopamine Gene”

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Binge eating
Linguistic learning ability

The Dopamine Receptor Gene (DRD2) is associated with the synthesis of DRD2, which is the main receptor for all anti-psychotic drugs. The hormone Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and its secretion is increased during emotional upheavals.  From an evolutionary aspect, this hormone is released in response to some adverse condition, to prepare the body for a flight or fight response. Under normal circumstances, when dopamine binds to DRD2 receptor, it should lower feelings of hunger and increase satiety. Specific alleles of the DRD2 gene have been shown to be associated with lower amount of DRD2 in the brain, which could lead to binge eating or overeating.

Association with Tendency to Overeat (Binge Eating Disorder):

In a study conducted on obese people, people with the T variant of the gene were found to be associated with binge eating. In a study conducted on adolescents, people with the T variant of the gene were found to be associated with increase in emotional eating behavior. A recent study conducted on children found that T variant predisposes them to greater energy intake and higher risk of obesity.

Association with Chromium Picolinate:

Chromium is an essential nutrient that is required by the body for lipid metabolism and regulation of carbohydrates. Chromium is also found to increase lean body mass. In a study conducted to understand the influence of DRD2 gene variants on the effect of chromium on weight loss, people with the C variant of the gene were found to be associated with changes in body fat and body weight.

Association with Language Learning/ Bilingual Ability:

In a study conducted to determine linguistic language learning ability, people with the CC genotype were shown to be associated with better concatenative memory. In a study conducted on older people, it was found that people with C variant had better associative memory. In a study conducted to determine the genetic basis of bilingual ability, the T variant was found twice the amount among Spanish-English bilinguals than among only English speaking students.

 

Genotype

rs1800497

PhenotypeRecommendation
CC

[Advantage] More likely to have higher amount of DRD2 in the brain

[Advantage] Less likely to have binge eating disorder

[Advantage] More likely to have better associative memory

[Limitation] Less likely to be bilingual

  • Less likely to have binge eating disorder
  • More likely to have better memory
  • Including activities that improve memory will further enhance the ability
CTModerate amount of DRD2 in the brain with moderate binge eating behavior
  • More likely to have binge eating disorder
  • Consciously avoid eating when in distress or when feeling low
  • Store healthy snacks which will avoid unhealthy binge eating
TT[Limitation] More likely to have lower amount of DRD2 in the brain

[Limitation] More likely to have binge eating disorder

[Limitation] More likely to have better associative memory

[Advantage] More likely to be bilingual

  • More likely to have binge eating disorder
  • Consciously avoid eating when in distress or when feeling low
  • Store healthy snacks which will avoid unhealthy binge eating
  • More likely to be bilingual
  • Learn new languages and tap into your innate potential

 

References:

  1. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.678.232&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/38113382_Parental_control_and_the_dopamine_D2_receptor_gene_DRD2_interaction_on_emotional_eating_in_adolescence
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28241982
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27647283

 

Find out which variation of the gene you carry and more at www.xcode.in

Nutrigenetics, fitness genetics, health genetics are all nascent but rapidly growing areas within human genetics. The information provided herein is based on preliminary scientific studies and it is to be read and understood in that context.”

Amrita Surendranath
Amrita Surendranath
Amrita has a Masters in Human Genetics which fuelled her passion for genes and their diktats. She loves converting genetic research into exciting scientific news with a punch. 10 years on, her interesting insights have covered a range of topics that include cancer, diabetes, nutrition, fitness and more. A pulse on what’s interesting aids in decoding laboratory data into useful science that could empower people into molding healthier lifestyles.