Why Labradors are always hungry, according to science

Why Labradors are always hungry, according science


  • a job in Cell Metabolism identifies the first gene of canine obesity.
  • research explains why Labradors are unable to fill.

in addition to peaceful and quiet, dogs Labradors are known to be hungry forever. This has been one of the most famous anecdotes among veterinarians who come to qualify as a “vacuum” to copies of Labrador Retriever for its ability to ingest food. The race, from the island of Newfoundland (now Canada), is one of the most popular in the world.

The farmers are also known as “vacuum cleaners” because of their inability to sate


a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows the first biological explanation why farmers are always hungry . The research, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, has identified the first gene linked to obesity canine. Variants of this DNA sequence related to increased appetite, have been discovered in the Labradors. Coincidentally, these gene variations have also been observed more frequently in those animals used as guide dogs, which tend to be educated using food as a reward.

First gene of canine obesity

” when there is more common in one race than another, we always thought that genetics may play a role, “says Eleanor Raffan , veterinary surgeon and geneticist at the University of Cambridge, who had previously studied obesity in humans. When approaching the study of Labradors, the scientists looked at three different genes related to overweight in our species. That was how they determined that the gene POMC might be relevant in the behavior of this race.

Eliminating gene POMC prevents dogs produce neuropeptides with those who would no longer be hungry

While in humans this gene sequence has been associated with differences in body weight scientists have found that mutations in the gene POMC causes a greater appetite on the farmers. In particular, the elimination of fourteen base pairs in the final part of this gene prevents dogs produce β-MSH neuropeptides and β-endorphin. Both molecules are responsible for ending the hunger once have eaten. By not producing these compounds, the farmers are never satisfied.

The research, which included the analysis of 310 Labradors, determined that this genetic variant is associated with an increased appetite. Deletion or elimination of the gene is also associated with a weight gain of 2 kg in the studied specimens. Those who had the genetic mutation seemed more motivated by food. According to a later study, which examined dogs breed Labrador retriever US and UK, 23% of the animals had the genetic variant associated with obesity.

 tenants

Scapin (Pixabay)

the study provides more information about the causes behind the overweight. In addition to identifying the first gene of canine obesity, scientists were surprised to see that the guide dogs type labrador more frequently presented a mutation in the gene POMC . This variant would explain why such copies are easier to train and educate using food as a reward, but scientists prefer to be cautious given the small number of dogs tested.

Understanding canine obesity may provide new clues about the overweight in humans

in developed countries, between 34 and 59% of dogs are obese , a problem that is related to a lower life expectancy, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and generally higher morbidity. The results presented therefore not only explain why farmers are always hungry, but can improve the care of all the animals, explaining the reasons behind their overweight. Furthermore, according to the researchers say, understand canine obesity can also help better understand this public health problem in our own species .


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Why Labradors are always hungry, according to science
Source: english  
May 3, 2016


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