islamabad - If your genes are hindering your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, take heart. Inherited obesity genes can be at least partially overcome by a physically active lifestyle, according to a research.

Research has shown that obesity is more likely to occur in genetically predisposed individuals. FTO is the human fat mass and obesity-associated gene that is strongly associated with obesity.

However, there is a growing consensus that excessive energy intake is a major contributor. As the epidemic coincides with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, environmental factors would appear to play a role.

The association between physical activity behaviour and obesity was assessed by using both basic and precise (metabolic equivalent score) measures of physical activity, and traditional body mass index (BMI) was compared with the more recently developed body adiposity index.

The researchers also analyzed the interaction between 14 obesity-related genetic traits and the effect of exercise.

Results suggest that physical activity can substantially reduce the influence of genetic factors on BMI in adults, blunting the genetic effect of FTO, the major contributor to common obesity, by up to 75%.

The scientists say that, in biological terms, the association is plausible: FTO is a nucleic acid demethylase, and FTO intron 1 variation is associated with different methylation profiles and BMI variance. Since methylation of DNA is sensitive to environmental changes such as physical activity and diet, they argue that there is a strong biological rationale for identifying GEI with FTO. Studies have shown that PA can change the methylation and mRNA expression pattern of genes, including FTO, in both muscle and fatty tissue.

Yoga positions may impact eye pressure in glaucoma patients: Study

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that seeks to harmonize the body with the mind and breath through breathing techniques and physical postures, according to a research. Though it has become a popular form of exercise in the Western world, a new study provides a point of caution, as its findings suggest certain poses increase eye pressure and present risks for individuals with glaucoma.

Although yoga has been lauded for its health benefits - including improving symptoms of arthritis and benefitting men with prostate cancer - the researchers of this latest study investigated the potential risks the practice can present for glaucoma patients. They focus on elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), which is the most common risk factor for glaucomatous damage and the only modifiable factor that has been proven to prevent or slow glaucoma progression.

Results showed that both groups of study participants had a rise in IOP in all four yoga poses, but the greatest pressure increase was found during downward dog.

“While we encourage our patients to live active and healthy lifestyles, including physical exercise, certain types of activities, including pushups and lifting heavy weights, should be avoided by glaucoma patients due to the risk of increasing IOP and possibly damaging the optic nerve,” says Dr. Ritch.

The measurements that the team recorded after the participants returned to a seated position - and then again after waiting 10 minutes - revealed that the pressure mostly remained slightly elevated from baseline.

Study author Jessica Jasien, from NYEE, notes that although their results do not reveal a major difference in IOP between the normal participants and the glaucoma patients, the team believes that further studies with larger populations and longer durations of inversions should be carried out.

Regarding this limitation, they add that the “absence of proof is not necessarily a proof of absence if the study sample is small.”

Other limitations include a lack of blood pressure measurements - which means they did not have any information that could point to associated changes in cerebrospinal fluid pressure due to yoga position - and short pose duration, which does not allow the team to draw conclusions on the change in IOP if yoga positions are maintained for 30 minutes - like they sometimes are in a formal yoga setting.

The team calls for future studies to assess whether certain yoga poses increase the risk of glaucoma progression.

Yoga has become a popular practice in the Western world; by 1998, an estimated 15 million American adults had practiced yoga at least once.