Dental health practitioners will be pricking their ears at news a life sciences company in the US claims to have found supporting evidence of a link between a gene controlling sugar cravings and body fat.
Salugen studied 257 subjects to discover obese people usually had a variation in this so-called 'sweet tooth gene' which set them apart from slimmer volunteers.
As a result, the company is working to develop anti-craving technology, which could be targeted at patients who have undergone genetic testing to identify the gene difference.
While doctors can potentially expect obesity case reductions, dentists may also be able to use the breakthrough to prevent tooth decay from sugar intake excesses.
Salugen chief executive Brian Meshkin says: "Obesity is the second largest cause of preventable death in the US. If we can help in some small way to prevent the illnesses, costs and deaths from this frustrating epidemic, we will have done something special."
The Salugen research supports findings from earlier publications, which have also associated genetics with weight issues.
Meanwhile, traditional sugary no-no the gummy bear could soon be playing a part in the battle against juvenile tooth decay too. Experts from the University of Washington have been studying the effect of adding an enamel-protecting compound to the sweet treats, reports BMC Oral Health.
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