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Metabolic Diseases: Research Team Identifies 90 Detox Genes

Metabolic Diseases: Research Team Identifies 90 Detox Genes



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90 genes identified that affect metabolism and detoxification via kidneys and urine

A research team has identified 90 genes that affect metabolism and detoxification via kidneys and urine, and whose role in these processes has been largely unknown. According to the experts, the new findings will help in future to better estimate the individual risk of metabolic diseases.

Researchers at the University Medical Center Freiburg, together with collaboration partners, have discovered genetic factors influencing the detoxification and elimination of metabolic products from the human body. Their results have been published in the renowned "Nature Genetics" magazine.

New insights into the importance of metabolism-related dispositions

As the University Hospital Freiburg explains in a message, the human organism metabolizes thousands of substances that are ingested with food or formed in the body itself.

Scientists at the Freiburg University Medical Center, together with their collaboration partners, have now identified 90 “detox genes” that influence metabolism and detoxification via kidneys and urine and whose role in these processes has so far been largely unknown.

Her study contains new insights into the importance of metabolism-related dispositions, for example with regard to the formation of kidney stones. In addition, the scientific work offers explanations for why even frequently prescribed drugs are broken down differently.

Better estimate individual risk for metabolic diseases

“The study results will help in the future to better estimate the individual risk of metabolic diseases. In this way, those affected could adapt their lifestyle in good time, ”explains study director Prof. Dr. Anna Köttgen, director of the Institute for Genetic Epidemiology at the University Hospital Freiburg.

According to the researcher, the study brings another important finding: "Our data underline that certain medications are broken down very differently by different people," explains Köttgen.

"In the future, the data could be taken into account in the personal dosage of a drug in order to optimize the effect and avoid side effects."

Information about the body's metabolic and detoxification performance

According to the information, metabolic products, also called metabolites, are transported back and forth between the individual organs via the bloodstream and excreted via the intestine and kidneys with the help of the liver.

As further explained in the communication, the concentrations of many metabolites in a urine sample can be measured. They provide information about the body's metabolic and detoxification performance.

That is why the researchers linked the first authors Dr. Pascal Schlosser, Dr. Yong Li and Dr. Peggy Sekula, all scientists and co-first authors at the Institute for Genetic Epidemiology at the University Medical Center Freiburg, have genetic data from 1,627 participants with chronic kidney disease with urine concentrations of a total of 1,172 metabolites.

The data were collected as part of the nationwide German Chronic Kidney Disease (GCKD) study, which is also carried out at the University Hospital Freiburg.

"With the help of the genetic variation, we were able to read which enzymes are responsible for the fact that people metabolise, detoxify and excrete substances differently," explains Schlosser.

"The enzymes are mainly active in the intestine, liver and kidneys and often influence how substances are broken down and excreted," says Sekula. "We were able to confirm the results in people without kidney disease, so the new insights are also of interest to the general population," says Yong Li. (Ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Swell:

  • Freiburg University Hospital: Researchers find 90 detox genes, (accessed: January 22, 2020), Freiburg University Hospital
  • Pascal Schlosser, Yong Li, Anna Köttgen: Genetic studies of urinary metabolites illuminate mechanisms of detoxification and excretion in humans; in: Nature Genetics, (published: 20.01.2020), Nature Genetics


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