The UCP1 gene is involved in metabolic processes by which energy is used as heat (‘burning’ calories) in response to excess energy intake and cold temperatures.
The uncoupling proteins 1, 2 and 3 belong to the family of mitochondrial transporter proteins that allow protons to re-enter the mitochondrial matrix without phosphorylating ADP (adenosine diphosphate), thus uncoupling the connection between oxidative metabolism and energy production, releasing energy as heat. The uncoupling proteins may, therefore, play an important role in energy homeostasis. These proteins share structural similarities but are expressed in different tissues.
UCP1 is mainly expressed in brown adipose tissue and has a central function in thermogenesis and energy homeostasis, as well as reducing the production of reactive oxygen species in the mitochondria. Under certain pathological conditions, such as hyperglycemia, UCP1 has been found to also be expressed in skeletal muscle, white adipose tissue, retinal cells, and pancreatic beta cells.
If you carry the GG-allele in this gene then you may be slightly weight-loss resistant. It is important to focus on interventions that will improve the individual’s ability to burn fat. An example of an intervention is to include more high-intensity exercise, or interval training, in the weight management plan. Regular follow up and practitioner support will also help to improve weight management outcomes.