An Indian origin scientist has revealed that middle-class people in developing countries like India are more prone to obesity, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases when compared to their western counterparts. The study also found that the type-2 diabetes in such countries is prevailing due to nutrition followed by their ancestors.

Anandwardhan A. Hardikar, the associate professor at the University of Sydney along with associates from the National Centre for Cell Science, KEM Hospital and the DYP Medical College, Pune, conducted a 12-year study over two groups of rats. First group was kept malnourished for 50 generations and researchers then gave normal diet for the next two generations. While second group was given normal diet for 52 generations continuously. Researchers found that in the first group, although they were given normal diet but successors did not experience any epigenetic alterations created by their malnutritioned ancestors. In addition, it was found that the successors were nearly eight times more likely to develop diabetes and other metabolic defects when compared to their counterparts from the second group.

With the study, researchers concluded that eating normal diet can make animals overweight if their ancestors had been undernourished for several generations. Similar phenomenon occurs in humans too; people in developing countries have suffered undernutrition since past several generation and are undergoing several lifestyle changes, contributing to epidemic of metabolic diseases. Researchers found that with the increase in wealth in developing people have started consuming more calories but their bodies are still made for storing fat and now when they eat more they gain more weight eventually turning into obese.

While explaining, Hardikar said that undernourished rats exhibited lower vitamin B12 levels that indicates of this trend. “Human studies from Ranjan Yajnik’s group at KEM Hospital in Pune, India have demonstrated that low circulating B12 and high folate levels are associated with insulin resistance and Type-2 diabetes,” Hardikar said.

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