Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Severely short Ecuadorians are resistant to diabetes and cancer

The severely short Ecuadorians have a specific mutation in their growth hormone receptor gene. Although their pituitary glands produce enough growth hormones, their receptors are missing. That inability to bind to receptors means another growth hormone, called insulin-like growth factor-1 is not well-produced. This condition is known as Laron syndrome. The affected Ecuadorians are descendants of Spanish Jews who escaped to South America to avoid the Inquisition and converted to Christianity, according to researchers. The mutation is prevalent in this gene pool. These findings raise questions about the relationship between growth hormones and diseases.

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