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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Title: Interactions between dietary n-3 fatty acids and genetic variants and risk of disease

item Corella, Dolores
item Ordovas, Jose M.

Submitted to: British Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2012
Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Citation: Corella, D., Ordovas, J. 2012. Interactions between dietary n-3 fatty acids and genetic variants and risk of disease. British Journal of Nutrition. 107:S271-S283.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Nutritional genomics has undergone rapid development and the concept is now very popular with the general public. Therefore, there is increasing demand for knowledge on adapting dietary composition to the genome. Our aim has been to undertake a systematic review so as to find out the level of evidence existing on whether the effects of n-3 fatty acids on health can be modulated by genetic variation. A systematic literature search was conducted on studies that jointly analyse the effect of one or more genetic variants in candidate genes and n-3 fatty acids. Both observational and experimental studies were included. Results are classified in accordance with whether the study was undertaken on intermediate phenotypes (plasma lipid concentrations, glucose, inflammation markers, anthropometric measurements) or disease phenotypes (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, etc) and whether it was experimental or observational. A wide diversity of genetic variants and little consistency in the publication of replication studies was found. Greater consistency was observed in studies that involved the FADS1 and FADS2 locus in the determination of n-3 fatty acid concentrations in biological samples. Most of the studies were designed to measure gene-diet interactions and not diet-gene interactions. Despite the fact that multiple studies have shown statistically significant interactions between n-3 fatty acids and certain genetic variants on intermediate and disease phenotypes, the individual level of evidence is very low and recommendations cannot be made on increasing or reducing the intake of n-3 fatty acids based on each individual’s genotype.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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