07/12/2011 05:56 GMT

'Cream Gene' That Enables People To Break Down Fat Rapidly, Discovered By Scientists

Scientists have discovered a gene mutation, dubbed the 'cream gene' that allows people to rapidly flush out fat from their system. So it would seem some really can have their cake and eat it.

The study found that even fat-laden pure cream is quickly broken down by those who possess the gene.

Researcher, Dr Jane Albert Kuivenhoven of Groningen University, studied two families with unusually high HDL cholesterol ('good' fats) and low triglycerides ('bad' fats).

Seven members of one family had a mutation in a gene called GALNT2 that allowed them to rapidly clear the bad fats from their system. Only one member of the other family had the same gene.

When the participants were given pure cream to drink, it was found that those with the 'cream gene' broke down the bad fats far more efficiently.

It is believed the GALNT2 gene normally hinders the breakdown of triglycerides but the mutation prevents this happening enabling them to be flushed out of the body more quickly.

Dr Kuivenhoven said it is too early to say whether the 'cream gene' has positive health implications in terms of lowering heart risk.

For those of us who aren't lucky enough to carry the 'cream gene', Christmas can be a tricky time to avoid fat-laden foods. Here are some suggestions on how to avoid those festive 'fat traps':

How To Avoid The Christmas Fat Traps