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Weight-Loss Gene May Keep Smokers Thinner

Last Updated: May 06, 2009.

Increases in a protein likely cause, but study doesn't provide direct proof.

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) --A gene that may help explain why smokers weigh less and have less body fat than nonsmokers has been identified by U.S. researchers.

They used several different tests on 55 healthy smokers and 37 healthy nonsmokers to determine their levels of alpha2-zinc-glycoprotein1 (AZGP1), a gene linked to weight loss. All the test showed that levels of AZGP1 were higher in smokers than nonsmokers, said the researchers at Weill Medical College of Cornell University New York.

The study didn't provide direct proof that smoking-induced increases in AZGP1 are sufficient to cause weight loss, said the study authors. However, they suggested that increased AZGP1 levels in smokers may be one mechanism that contributes to weight differences between smokers and nonsmokers.

The study appears in the May issue of Chest.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains how you can control your weight after you quit smoking.

SOURCE: American College of Chest Physicians, news release, May 6, 2009

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