Obesity is a public health problem in Canada. While body weight is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, the aim of our studies is to find which gene or group of genes in combination, hormone or hormones, macro- and micro nutrients are associated with the regulations of body weight and body composition and to increase our understanding of the genetic basis of obesity.
Dr. Guang Sun’s nutrigenomics research laboratory is located in Memorial University’s Medical School in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The primary focus is to discover genes, endocrine and nutritional factors or their interactions that are involved in obesity and diabetes. Using volunteers that are specifically of Newfoundland origin, Dr. Sun is currently overseeing three different research studies, all of which are concerned with finding the genetic link to obesity. Our current focus is on our Association study.
The CODING study
. This study involves that volunteers give a blood sample and receive a Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scan, a low dose x-ray machine that measure bone density, body fat percentage and fat distribution using the DXA machine,
. Volunteers are required to exercise for 50 minutes a day for one week. In this study, the change in the volunteers’ gene expression is measured by comparing fat and muscle samples taken before and after the exercise.
. Volunteers are given 21 free meals over seven days that will be designed to increase their daily caloric intake by 70%. In this study, the change in the volunteers’ gene expression is measured by comparing fat and muscle samples taken before and after the overfeeding.