Some People in Greenland Metabolize Sugars Differently

For millennia, people in Greenland had a sugar-free diet. Without the need to speedily process certain carbohydrates, some have lost the role of an important enzyme for sucrose processing.

To understand what this loss affects the health of the population of today A team of researchers under the direction of researchers of the University of Copenhagen analyzed the health of a large number of Greenlandic people.

The gene at the centre of the research produces an enzyme called sucrase-isomaltase. In the history of Greenland, it changed to the point that it’s no longer working. A little over a third its descendents have at least one these defective versions.

For us, the working variants of the enzyme reside in our intestinal walls in which they break down dietary carbohydrates like sucrose (the type of sugar that you can sprinkle on the coffee you drink) along with isomaltose (a ingredient in carbohydrate caramelization).

In accordance with the findings of previous studies conducted on children, this enzyme for absorbing sugar is essential for healthy health. In the absence of it, eating any amount of sweet foods can result in stomach irritability, diarrhea and nausea. The question of whether this is applicable to adults is an unanswered issue.

A study of the blood chemistry, diet and the history for diabetics was conducted on over 6000 Greenlandic participants, in addition to an examination of their genes. All of them were at least 18 years old. of age.

Incredibly, even though children had intense reactions to sugar in a way that might impact their development, adults generally thrived.

The findings linked having 2 copies of the extinct gene with an inversely smaller body mass index, and less fat content and an optimal fat profile.

A subset of the sample also displayed intriguing levels of a compound called the acetate. The circulation of this fatty short-chain has been associated with decreased appetites, further suggesting that the disappearance of this enzyme may have advantages in a world in which overindulgence with high-energy foods is difficult to avoid.

The researchers think that the excess of basic carbohydrates found in our gut might be a favorable environment for microflora that convert it into acetate and transform it from an irritant into a tool to help you maintain better diet.

Experiments using mice designed to resist sucrose’s absorption as well as a study that showed they had less fat stored when fed diets that are energy-rich.

The extent to which this information can guide future generations of fat-fighting treatments is difficult to predict. More research is needed to investigate the effects of preventing other functional forms of sucrase-isomaltase found in the guts of those who require a with managing their sugar metabolism.