What is metabolism? What is the importance of metabolism in the human body, and how do genetics play a role? When thinking about metabolism and genetics, these are the valid questions people ask when establishing a weight loss or weight management program. A person’s metabolic rate is influenced by many factors, including age, hormone function, amount of physical activity, and how they eat. Genetics also plays an essential role in determining how the body interacts with calorie intake and how that is transferred to energy. A fast metabolism is nearly what every person researching metabolism wants to achieve. So, how can we learn about metabolism to achieve a fast metabolism to manage weight toward overall health and wellness?   

Dr. Brian Fertig deeply understands the dynamics between metabolism and genetics. He promotes a medical approach that takes insights from the world of physics, which he feels can help practitioners quantify therapies with precision. He combines physics and biology context and learning to offer an approach that blends the best of art and science. 

Genetics plays a role in metabolism. Genes influence a person’s weight by affecting how calories are used (energy metabolism). Some people use calories efficiently—meaning they need fewer calories to fuel the body, which can result in “leftover” calories being stored as fat. A person’s metabolism and metabolic rate are partially hereditary and responsible for burning around 70 percent of the daily calories. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) determines how many calories our bodies need to perform their essential functions. This may explain why some people find losing or managing weight more difficult. Though genetics play a role in determining a person’s weight or body mass, other factors due play a critical role.  

Other factors for metabolism and genetics, including environment, lifestyle and diet, all significantly contribute to a person’s weight. A person’s genes should be considered when creating weight-loss strategies that work best for them by using genetic analysis. For example, genetics can affect factors such as how full a person feels as they eat, appetite levels, and how the body uses energy and burns calories. Specific testing types can also reveal how a person’s body responds to certain medications. That information can be precious in creating a weight-loss program that fits a person’s particular body type and needs and make it more likely that they will be able to lose weight and manage it effectively over the long term.  

One main thread in metabolism and genetics is the steps we can take to address this process, which include the following.  

  1. Eat a balanced diet 
  1. Get daily exercise 
  1. Prioritize rest 
  1. Integrate diet with nutritional supplements 

At this point, we must also understand metabolism and the metabolic pathways to understand how genetics plays a role. Metabolism is a complex process that provides the body with energy essential for all bodily functions. This complex process combines calories and oxygen to create and release energy and fuels the body even when the body is resting. Through physical, physiological, and psychological functions, metabolism is the driving force of energy needed to power these human processes.    

Learning about metabolism is a crucial first step to understanding how metabolism and genetics interact. However, it is essential to note that even though medical treatment for weight loss, such as medication and surgery, may be sought, it must accompany lifestyle changes that include a controlled, healthy diet and regular exercise of both low and high interval impact. Without individualized accountability, dedicated attention, and effort placed into areas, no weight-loss intervention can succeed over time. 

If you are interested in learning more, order Dr. Fertig’s two-volume series “Metabolism & Medicine,” on Amazon. 

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