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Sweet tooth gene variation discovered
Updated: 5/15/2008 6:00:26 PM

Having a sweet tooth can often cause dental problems, with many lovers of chocolate and soda having to go the dentist for fillings.

Now, a new study has suggested that there could be a genetic reason why some people crave sugary foods more than others, reported.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found a variation in the gene glucose transporter type two (GLUT2), which controls the entry of glucose molecules into cells.

The team found that people with the variation consistently consumed more sucrose (table sugar) and fructose (simple sugar) than those without it.

Research leader Dr Ahmed El-Sohemy said: "A variation in the GLUT2 gene is associated with a higher intake of sugars among different populations."

It is now being suggested that the findings could be used to tackle diabetes and obesity, as well as potentially preventing a few trips to the dentist.

The findings are "especially important given the soaring rates of obesity and diabetes throughout much of the world", Dr El-Sohemy added.

Diane Melrose, chair of the University of Southern California's Dental Hygiene program, told Los Angeles Downtown News that she advises patients to look out for hidden sugars, such as those found in chewing gum, fruit juice, chips and even certain medicines.

© 2008 Brafton Inc.


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