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1.  Disclosure of Genetic Information and Change in Dietary Intake: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112665.
Background
Proponents of consumer genetic tests claim that the information can positively impact health behaviors and aid in chronic disease prevention. However, the effects of disclosing genetic information on dietary intake behavior are not clear.
Methods
A double-blinded, parallel group, 2∶1 online randomized controlled trial was conducted to determine the short- and long-term effects of disclosing nutrition-related genetic information for personalized nutrition on dietary intakes of caffeine, vitamin C, added sugars, and sodium. Participants were healthy men and women aged 20–35 years (n = 138). The intervention group (n = 92) received personalized DNA-based dietary advice for 12-months and the control group (n = 46) received general dietary recommendations with no genetic information for 12-months. Food frequency questionnaires were collected at baseline and 3- and 12-months after the intervention to assess dietary intakes. General linear models were used to compare changes in intakes between those receiving general dietary advice and those receiving DNA-based dietary advice.
Results
Compared to the control group, no significant changes to dietary intakes of the nutrients were observed at 3-months. At 12-months, participants in the intervention group who possessed a risk version of the ACE gene, and were advised to limit their sodium intake, significantly reduced their sodium intake (mg/day) compared to the control group (−287.3±114.1 vs. 129.8±118.2, p = 0.008). Those who had the non-risk version of ACE did not significantly change their sodium intake compared to the control group (12-months: −244.2±150.2, p = 0.11). Among those with the risk version of the ACE gene, the proportion who met the targeted recommendation of 1500 mg/day increased from 19% at baseline to 34% after 12 months (p = 0.06).
Conclusions
These findings demonstrate that disclosing genetic information for personalized nutrition results in greater changes in intake for some dietary components compared to general population-based dietary advice.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01353014
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112665
PMCID: PMC4232422  PMID: 25398084
2.  Positive Association Between 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and C-Reactive Protein is Confounded by Hormonal Contraceptive Use 
Journal of Women's Health  2013;22(5):417-425.
Abstract
Background
Studies of the relationship between vitamin D and inflammation are equivocal. This may be due to unaccounted confounding. Hormonal contraceptive (HC) use is associated with elevated circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in Caucasians and African-Americans, but its effects on 25(OH)D in other ethnicities are unclear. HC use is associated with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory biomarker. Our objectives were to assess the effect of HC use on 25(OH)D across ethnic groups, and to examine the association between HC, 25(OH)D and CRP in an ethnically diverse population of young adults.
Methods
We recruited Caucasian, East Asian, and South Asian individuals (n=1,403) from Toronto, Canada. Fasting blood measures of 25(OH)D and CRP were obtained.
Results
Across ethnic groups, women HC users (n=280) had higher 25(OH)D and CRP than women HC non-users (n=695) and men (n=428) (p<0.008 and p<0.0001, respectively). Circulating 25(OH)D was positively associated with CRP in the entire population in models not accounting for HC use (β=0.010±0.003; p<0.0001). There was no association when men and women HC non-users were examined separately. Among women HC users, there was no association after accounting for hormone dose. A positive association between 25(OH)D and CRP among individuals above the median 25(OH)D (≥51.9 nmol/L) was not significant after adjustment for HC use. No association was observed among individuals below the median.
Conclusions
HC use and 25(OH)D were positively associated across ethnic groups. We found no association between 25(OH)D and CRP when HC use was accounted for. HC use confounds the association between 25(OH)D and CRP.
doi:10.1089/jwh.2012.4046
PMCID: PMC3653380  PMID: 23659482
3.  ABO Genotype, ‘Blood-Type’ Diet and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84749.
Background
The ‘Blood-Type’ diet advises individuals to eat according to their ABO blood group to improve their health and decrease risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. However, the association between blood type-based dietary patterns and health outcomes has not been examined. The objective of this study was to determine the association between ‘blood-type’ diets and biomarkers of cardiometabolic health and whether an individual's ABO genotype modifies any associations.
Methods
Subjects (n = 1,455) were participants of the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health study. Dietary intake was assessed using a one-month, 196-item food frequency questionnaire and a diet score was calculated to determine relative adherence to each of the four ‘Blood-Type’ diets. ABO blood group was determined by genotyping rs8176719 and rs8176746 in the ABO gene. ANCOVA, with age, sex, ethnicity, and energy intake as covariates, was used to compare cardiometabolic biomarkers across tertiles of each ‘Blood-Type’ diet score.
Results
Adherence to the Type-A diet was associated with lower BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, serum cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, HOMA-IR and HOMA-Beta (P<0.05). Adherence to the Type-AB diet was also associated with lower levels of these biomarkers (P<0.05), except for BMI and waist circumference. Adherence to the Type-O diet was associated with lower triglycerides (P<0.0001). Matching the ‘Blood-Type’ diets with the corresponding blood group did not change the effect size of any of these associations. No significant association was found for the Type-B diet.
Conclusions
Adherence to certain ‘Blood-Type’ diets is associated with favorable effects on some cardiometabolic risk factors, but these associations were independent of an individual's ABO genotype, so the findings do not support the ‘Blood-Type’ diet hypothesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084749
PMCID: PMC3893150  PMID: 24454746
4.  Plasma concentration of cis9trans11 CLA in males and females is influenced by SCD1 genetic variations and hormonal contraceptives: a cross-sectional study 
Background
The conjugated linoleic acid isomer cis9trans11 CLA can be endogenously synthesized from trans vaccenic acid (C18:1 t11) via desaturation at the delta 9 position catalyzed by the stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), also known as delta-9 desaturase (D9D). Diet, hormonal regulation of gene expression and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been implicated in altering circulating levels of fatty acids. Hormonal contraceptives (HC) have also been shown to influence levels of some fatty acids. SNPs in SCD1 have been associated with altered levels of palmitoleic and oleic acids; however, associations between SCD1 SNPs and D9D desaturation index have not been previously examined in relation to CLA. Herein, we investigated the effects of sex and HC use on circulating concentrations of c9t11 CLA and D9D desaturation index. Furthermore, we determined the effects of ten SCD1 SNPs on D9D desaturation indices estimated by product to precursor ratio of c9t11 CLA to C18:1 t11.
Methods
Plasma samples were collected from subjects (Caucasian males: n = 113; Caucasian females: n = 298; Asian males: n = 98; Asian females: n = 277) from the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. Circulating fatty acids levels were measured by gas chromatography.
Results
Results show that circulating c9t11 CLA concentrations are significantly higher in females than males and they are further elevated in females using HC. In addition, a significant sex- and ethnic-specific association was found between SCD1 SNP rs10883463 (p = 0.0014) and altered D9D activity in Caucasian males.
Conclusion
Findings from the present study identify SCD1 SNPs and hormonal contraceptives as factors altering endogenous c9t11 CLA levels in a sex- and ethnic-specific manner.
doi:10.1186/1743-7075-10-50
PMCID: PMC3722052  PMID: 23866021
c9t11 CLA; SCD1; Hormonal contraceptives; Single nucleotide polymorphisms
5.  Ethnic- and sex-specific associations between plasma fatty acids and markers of insulin resistance in healthy young adults 
Background
Although evidence indicates that fatty acids (FA) can affect insulin resistance (IR), not all FA contribute equally to the process. Indeed, monounsaturated FA (MUFA) and polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) are reported to reduce IR, whereas saturated FA (SFA) and trans FA appear to increase IR. However, it is not yet clear how individual FA are associated with markers of IR, and whether these relationships are influenced by ethnicity and/or sex. Therefore, the goal of this study was to examine the ethnic- and sex-specific relationships between plasma FA and markers of IR in a cohort of healthy young Caucasian, East Asian, and South Asian adults.
Methods
Gas chromatography was used to quantify fasting plasma FA from young Canadian adults (22.6 ± 0.1 yrs) of Caucasian (n = 461), East Asian (n = 362), or South Asian (n = 104) descent. Linear regression models were used to investigate associations between plasma FA and markers of IR (i.e. fasting insulin, glucose, and HOMA-IR) according to ethnicity and sex.
Results
Numerous significant associations (P < 0.05, adjusted for multiple testing) were identified between individual FA and markers of IR, with the majority identified in Caucasians. For SFA, positive associations were found between 14:0 and fasting insulin and HOMA-IR in Caucasian and East Asian populations, and 18:0 and fasting glucose in Caucasians only. Several positive associations were also found for specific MUFA (18:1t11 and 18:1t6-8 with HOMA-IR, and 18:1c9 with fasting glucose) and PUFA (18:2n6 with fasting glucose and 18:2c9t11 with HOMA-IR) in Caucasian adults only. Most of the aforementioned associations were stronger in males compared to females. Interestingly, no significant associations were found between FA and markers of IR in South Asian adults.
Conclusions
We report numerous associations between plasma FA and markers of IR in Caucasian and East Asian populations, but not in South Asian individuals. Furthermore, these associations appeared to be more robust in men. This demonstrates the importance of investigating associations between FA and markers of IR in an ethnic- and sex-specific manner in order to better understand the contribution of plasma FA to the development of IR and type-2 diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1743-7075-10-42
PMCID: PMC3686608  PMID: 23773230
Caucasian; South Asian; East Asian; HOMA-IR; Fasting glucose and fasting insulin
6.  Plasma Vitamin D and Biomarkers of Cardiometabolic Disease Risk in Adult Canadians, 2007–2009 
Introduction
Vitamin D may modulate cardiometabolic disease risk, although the relationship has not been investigated in the general Canadian population. Understanding this relationship may inform public health strategies to curb the incidence of cardiometabolic disease in Canada and elsewhere. The objectives of this study were to examine the association between vitamin D and traditional and novel biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease and to describe the extent of the month-to-month fluctuations of vitamin D in the Canadian population.
Methods
We examined the association between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and a range of cardiometabolic risk biomarkers in participants (n = 1,928; age range, 16–79 years) from the Canadian Health Measures Survey. We conducted linear regressions analyses (adjusted for sex, waist circumference, physical activity, hormone use, and season) to assess the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and biomarkers of dysglycemia, dyslipidemia, and inflammation in the study population. We repeated analyses stratified by sex, and we evaluated monthly fluctuations in 25-hydroxyvitamin D in men and women.
Results
We observed wide month-to-month variations in 25-hydroxyvitamin D; fluctuations were more pronounced in men. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D was inversely associated with insulin, insulin resistance, triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the ratio of total to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol but not with fasting glucose, apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein B, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, or homocysteine. This pattern varied between men and women.
Conclusion
Vitamin D may modulate various metabolic processes and may influence cardiometabolic disease risk in Canadians. These findings may have public health implications when recommending vitamin D for the prevention of cardiometabolic disease and related conditions.
doi:10.5888/pcd10.120230
PMCID: PMC3682811  PMID: 23742939
7.  Association between circulating ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and plasma cytokine concentrations in young adults: a cross-sectional study 
Background
Inflammation and oxidative stress are associated with the development of numerous chronic diseases. Circulating ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) may help reduce concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These micronutrients may act synergistically, and they may have different anti-inflammatory effects, but previous studies have assessed the link between each of these micronutrients and inflammation in isolation without controlling for the other micronutrients. Our objective was to examine the association between circulating concentrations of ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, and 25(OH) D and a panel of pro-inflammatory cytokines in an ethnically diverse population of young adults.
Methods
Participants (n = 1,007) from the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health study provided fasting blood samples for biomarker measurements and were subsequently categorized into tertiles for each micronutrient based on their circulating concentrations. We conducted Pearson’s correlation analyses across all micronutrients and cytokines. The associations between individual micronutrients and cytokines were examined using analysis of covariance with age, sex, waist circumference, ethnicity, physical activity, season of blood collection, total cholesterol, hormonal contraceptive use among women, and the other two micronutrients as covariates.
Results
We observed weak micronutrient-cytokine correlations, moderate correlations between certain cytokines, and strong correlations between specific cytokines, particularly interleukin 1- receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-bb). After full covariate adjustment, circulating α-tocopherol was inversely associated with IFN-γ and regulated upon activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES). We observed an unexpected positive association between ascorbic acid and IFN-γ. 25(OH)D was not associated with altered concentrations of any inflammatory biomarkers.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that α-tocopherol, but not ascorbic acid or 25(OH)D, is inversely associated with inflammation in healthy young adults.
doi:10.1186/1743-7075-9-102
PMCID: PMC3515429  PMID: 23158971
Ascorbic acid; α-tocopherol; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Micronutrients; Cytokines; Inflammation; Young adults
8.  The association between obesity, cardiometabolic disease biomarkers, and innate immunity-related inflammation in Canadian adults 
Introduction
Obesity is associated with a state of chronic inflammation, and increased cardiometabolic disease risk. The present study examined the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cardiometabolic and inflammatory biomarkers among normal weight, overweight, and obese Canadian adults.
Methods
Subjects (n = 1805, aged 18 to 79 years) from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) were examined for associations between BMI, cardiometabolic markers (apolipoprotein [Apo] A1, ApoB, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C], high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], total cholesterol, total cholesterol/HDL ratio [total:HDL-C ratio], triglycerides, and glycosylated hemoglobin [HbA1c]), inflammatory factors (C-reactive protein [CRP], fibrinogen, and homocysteine), and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. Bootstrap weights for variance and sampling weights for point estimates were applied to account for the complex survey design. Linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, physical activity, smoking status, and ethnicity (in addition to season of clinic visit, for vitamin D analyses only) were used to examine the association between cardiometabolic markers, inflammatory factors, and BMI in Canadian adults.
Results
All biomarkers were significantly associated with BMI (P ≤ 0.001). ApoA1 (β = −0.31, P < 0.0001), HDL-C (β = −0.61, P < 0.0001), and 25(OH)D (β = −0.25, P < 0.0001) were inversely associated with BMI, while all other biomarkers showed positive linear associations. Distinct patterns of association were noted among normal weight, overweight, and obese groups, excluding CRP which showed a significant positive association with BMI in the overall population (β = 2.80, P < 0.0001) and in the normal weight (β = 3.20, P = 0.02), overweight (β = 3.53, P = 0.002), and obese (β = 2.22, P = 0.0002) groups.
Conclusions
There is an apparent profile of cardiometabolic and inflammatory biomarkers that emerges as BMI increases from normal weight to obesity. Understanding these profiles may permit developing an effective approach for early risk prediction for cardiometabolic disease.
doi:10.2147/DMSO.S35115
PMCID: PMC3468056  PMID: 23055759
obesity; inflammation; biomarkers; cardiometabolic disease
9.  Novel Effects of Hormonal Contraceptive Use on the Plasma Proteome 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45162.
Background
Hormonal contraceptive (HC) use may increase cardiometabolic risk; however, the effect of HC on emerging cardiometabolic and other disease risk factors is not clear.
Objectives
To determine the association between HC use and plasma proteins involved in established and emerging disease risk pathways.
Method
Concentrations of 54 high-abundance plasma proteins were measured simultaneously by LC-MRM/MS in 783 women from the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. C-reactive protein (CRP) was measured separately. ANCOVA was used to test differences in protein concentrations between users and non-users, and among HC users depending on total hormone dose. Linear regression was used to test the association between duration (years) of HC use and plasma protein concentrations. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to identify plasma proteomic profiles in users and non-users.
Results
After Bonferroni correction, 19 proteins involved in inflammation, innate immunity, coagulation and blood pressure regulation were significantly different between users and non-users (P<0.0009). These differences were replicated across three distinct ethnocultural groups. Traditional markers of glucose and lipid metabolism were also significantly higher among HC users. Neither hormone dose nor duration of use affected protein concentrations. PCA identified 4 distinct proteomic profiles in users and 3 in non-users.
Conclusion
HC use was associated with different concentrations of plasma proteins along various disease-related pathways, and these differences were present across different ethnicities. Aside from the known effect of HC on traditional biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk, HC use also affects numerous proteins that may be biomarkers of dysregulation in inflammation, coagulation and blood pressure.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045162
PMCID: PMC3440362  PMID: 22984625
10.  Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics: Viewpoints on the Current Status and Applications in Nutrition Research and Practice 
Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics hold much promise for providing better nutritional advice to the public generally, genetic subgroups and individuals. Because nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics require a deep understanding of nutrition, genetics and biochemistry and ever new ‘omic’ technologies, it is often difficult, even for educated professionals, to appreciate their relevance to the practice of preventive approaches for optimising health, delaying onset of disease and diminishing its severity. This review discusses (i) the basic concepts, technical terms and technology involved in nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics; (ii) how this emerging knowledge can be applied to optimise health, prevent and treat diseases; (iii) how to read, understand and interpret nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic research results, and (iv) how this knowledge may potentially transform nutrition and dietetic practice, and the implications of such a transformation. This is in effect an up-to-date overview of the various aspects of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics relevant to health practitioners who are seeking a better understanding of this new frontier in nutrition research and its potential application to dietetic practice.
doi:10.1159/000327772
PMCID: PMC3121546  PMID: 21625170
Dietetics; Nutrigenetics; Nutrigenomics; Nutrition Research; Personalised nutrition
11.  Effects of polymorphisms in nucleotide-binding oligomerization domains 1 and 2 on biomarkers of the metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes 
Genes & Nutrition  2012;7(3):427-435.
The innate immune receptor toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) has been implicated in mediating some of the effects of dietary lipids on inflammation and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Similar to TLR4, the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domains (Nods) 1 and 2 are also proteins of innate immunity, which can respond to lipids and initiate pro-inflammatory signalling that plays a role in the aetiology of T2D. The objective was to determine the effect of Nod1 (Glu266Lys) and Nod2 (Ser268Pro) genotypes on factors associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS), and whether they modify the association between dietary lipids and biomarkers of the MetS. Men and women (n = 998) between the ages of 20–29 years were genotyped for both polymorphisms, completed a one-month, semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire and provided a fasting blood sample. The Glu266Lys polymorphism in Nod1 was not associated with any of the biomarkers of the MetS, but modified the association between dietary saturated fat (SFA) and insulin sensitivity, as measured by HOMA-IR (p for interaction = 0.04). Individuals with the Glu/Glu or Glu/Lys genotype showed no significant relationship between dietary SFA and HOMA-IR (β = −0.002 ± 0.006, p = 0.77; and β = −0.003 ± 0.006, p = 0.61), while those with the Lys/Lys genotype showed a positive association (β = 0.033 ± 0.02, p = 0.03). The Nod2 Ser268Pro polymorphism was not associated with components of the MetS and did not modify the relationship between dietary lipid intake and the biomarkers of MetS. In summary, the Nod1 Glu266Lys polymorphism modifies the relationship between dietary SFA intake and HOMA-IR, suggesting that Nod1 may act as an intracellular lipid sensor affecting insulin sensitivity.
doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0287-5
PMCID: PMC3380195  PMID: 22367890
Nucleotide oligomerization domains; Innate immunity; Insulin sensitivity; Saturated fat
12.  A randomized trial of genetic information for personalized nutrition 
Genes & Nutrition  2012;7(4):559-566.
Personal genetic information has become increasingly accessible to the public as a result of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests; however, concerns have been raised over their value and potential risks. We compared the effects of providing genotype-based dietary advice with general recommendations on behavioral outcomes using a randomized controlled study. Participants were men and women from the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study between the ages of 20–35 years (n = 149) who completed a survey to assess their awareness of DTC genetic tests and nutrigenomics, as well as potential motivations for undergoing genetic testing. Participants were then randomized into an intervention (I) or control (C) group and were given either genotype-based personalized dietary advice or general dietary advice, respectively. A second survey was administered to assess the participants’ opinions of the dietary reports they received. A greater proportion of participants in the intervention group agreed that they understood the dietary advice they were given (93% (I) vs. 78% (C); p = 0.009). Participants in the intervention group were more likely to agree that the dietary recommendations they received would be useful when considering their diet (88% (I) vs. 72% (C); p = 0.02) and wanted to know more about the recommendations (95% (I) vs. 76% (C); p < 0.0001). Only 9% of participants in the intervention group reported feeling uneasy about learning their genetic information. These findings suggest that individuals find dietary recommendations based on genetics more understandable and more useful than general dietary advice. Very few feel uneasy about receiving their genetic information that relates to personalized nutrition.
doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0290-x
PMCID: PMC3448037  PMID: 22407352
Nutrigenomics; Nutrigenetics; Personalized nutrition; Genetic testing
13.  A common polymorphism near the interleukin-6 gene modifies the association between dietary fat intake and insulin sensitivity 
Background
Increasing evidence suggests a role for inflammation in the development of type 2 diabetes. Elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6, have been associated with insulin resistance, and dietary lipids can increase cytokine production. The objective of this study was to determine whether a single nucleotide polymorphism near the IL6 gene (rs7801406) modifies the relationship between dietary fat and markers of insulin sensitivity.
Methods
Subjects were healthy men and women aged 20–29 years from the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. Dietary intake was estimated using a one-month semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Fasting blood samples were taken for genotyping and biomarker measurement.
Results
The single nucleotide polymorphism was not associated with any of the measures of insulin sensitivity. However, it modified the relationship between total dietary fat and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (P = 0.053 for interaction). Total fat intake was positively related to HOMA-IR in individuals homozygous for the G allele (β = 0.005 ± 0.002, P = 0.03), but not among heterozygotes. There was an inverse relationship between total fat intake and HOMA-IR in individuals who were homozygous for the A allele (β = −0.012 ± 0.006, P = 0.047).
Conclusion
These findings suggest that dietary fat influences insulin sensitivity differently depending on genotype.
doi:10.2147/JIR.S27911
PMCID: PMC3278256  PMID: 22334790
interleukin-6; insulin sensitivity; nutrigenomics; dietary fat
14.  Genetic polymorphisms of innate immunity-related inflammatory pathways and their association with factors related to type 2 diabetes 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:95.
Background
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been linked to a state of pre-clinical chronic inflammation resulting from abnormalities in the innate immune pathway. Serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins, collectively known as 'inflammatory network', are elevated in the pre-, or early, stages of T2DM and increase with disease progression. Genetic variation can affect the innate immune response to certain environmental factors, and may, therefore, determine an individual's lifetime risk of disease.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study in 6,720 subjects from the TwinsUK Registry to evaluate the association between 18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in five genes (TLR4, IL1A, IL6, TNFA, and CRP) along the innate immunity-related inflammatory pathway and biomarkers of predisposition to T2DM [fasting insulin and glucose, HDL- and LDL- cholesterols, triglycerides (TGs), amyloid-A, sensitive C-reactive protein (sCRP) and vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) and body mass index (BMI)].
Results
Of 18 the SNPs examined for their association with nine metabolic phenotypes of interest, six were significantly associated with five metabolic phenotypes (Bonferroni correction, P ≤ 0.0027). Fasting insulin was associated with SNPs in IL6 and TNFA, serum HDL-C with variants of TNFA and CRP and serum sCRP level with SNPs in CRP. Cross-correlation analysis among the different metabolic factors related to risk of T2DM showed several significant associations. For example, BMI was directly correlated with glucose (r = 0.11), insulin (r = 0.15), sCRP (r = 0.23), LDL-C (r = 0.067) and TGs (r = 0.18) but inversely with HDL-C (r = -0.14). sCRP was also positively correlated (P < 0.0001) with insulin (r = 0.17), amyloid-A (r = 0.39), TGs (r = 0.26), and VDBP (r = 0.36) but inversely with HDL-C (r = -0.12).
Conclusion
Genetic variants in the innate immunity pathway and its related inflammatory cascade is associated with some metabolic risk factors for T2DM; an observation that may provide a rationale for further studying their role as biomarkers for disease early risk prediction.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-95
PMCID: PMC3161932  PMID: 21756351
15.  The Authors Reply 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;171(3):387-388.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwp401
PMCID: PMC2878112
16.  Vitamins D, C, and E in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus: modulation of inflammation and oxidative stress 
The incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide, and certain population subgroups are especially vulnerable to the disease. To reduce T2DM risk and progression at the population level, preventative strategies are needed that can be implemented on a population-wide scale with minimal cost and effort. Chronic low-grade inflammation resulting from oxidative stress and imbalances in the innate immune system has been associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance – critical stages in the development and progression of T2DM. Therefore, inflammation may play a causal role in the pathogenesis of T2DM, and reducing it via modulation of oxidative stress and the innate immune response could lead to a status of improved insulin sensitivity and delayed disease onset. Dietary supplementation with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutritional factors, such as micronutrients, might present a novel strategy toward the prevention and control of T2DM at the population level. This review examines current knowledge linking oxidation, inflammatory signaling pathways, and vitamin supplementation or intake to the risk of T2DM. The concept that micronutrients, via attenuation of inflammation, could be employed as a novel preventive measure for T2DM is evaluated in the context of its relevance to public health.
doi:10.2147/BTT.S14417
PMCID: PMC3044790  PMID: 21383912
type 2 diabetes; oxidative stress; innate immunity; inflammation; micronutrients
17.  The Micronutrient Genomics Project: a community-driven knowledge base for micronutrient research 
Genes & Nutrition  2010;5(4):285-296.
Micronutrients influence multiple metabolic pathways including oxidative and inflammatory processes. Optimum micronutrient supply is important for the maintenance of homeostasis in metabolism and, ultimately, for maintaining good health. With advances in systems biology and genomics technologies, it is becoming feasible to assess the activity of single and multiple micronutrients in their complete biological context. Existing research collects fragments of information, which are not stored systematically and are thus not optimally disseminated. The Micronutrient Genomics Project (MGP) was established as a community-driven project to facilitate the development of systematic capture, storage, management, analyses, and dissemination of data and knowledge generated by biological studies focused on micronutrient–genome interactions. Specifically, the MGP creates a public portal and open-source bioinformatics toolbox for all “omics” information and evaluation of micronutrient and health studies. The core of the project focuses on access to, and visualization of, genetic/genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic information related to micronutrients. For each micronutrient, an expert group is or will be established combining the various relevant areas (including genetics, nutrition, biochemistry, and epidemiology). Each expert group will (1) collect all available knowledge, (2) collaborate with bioinformatics teams towards constructing the pathways and biological networks, and (3) publish their findings on a regular basis. The project is coordinated in a transparent manner, regular meetings are organized and dissemination is arranged through tools, a toolbox web portal, a communications website and dedicated publications.
doi:10.1007/s12263-010-0192-8
PMCID: PMC2989004  PMID: 21189865
Micronutrient; Bioinformatics; Database; Genomics
18.  The Micronutrient Genomics Project: a community-driven knowledge base for micronutrient research 
Genes & Nutrition  2010;5(4):285-296.
Micronutrients influence multiple metabolic pathways including oxidative and inflammatory processes. Optimum micronutrient supply is important for the maintenance of homeostasis in metabolism and, ultimately, for maintaining good health. With advances in systems biology and genomics technologies, it is becoming feasible to assess the activity of single and multiple micronutrients in their complete biological context. Existing research collects fragments of information, which are not stored systematically and are thus not optimally disseminated. The Micronutrient Genomics Project (MGP) was established as a community-driven project to facilitate the development of systematic capture, storage, management, analyses, and dissemination of data and knowledge generated by biological studies focused on micronutrient–genome interactions. Specifically, the MGP creates a public portal and open-source bioinformatics toolbox for all “omics” information and evaluation of micronutrient and health studies. The core of the project focuses on access to, and visualization of, genetic/genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic information related to micronutrients. For each micronutrient, an expert group is or will be established combining the various relevant areas (including genetics, nutrition, biochemistry, and epidemiology). Each expert group will (1) collect all available knowledge, (2) collaborate with bioinformatics teams towards constructing the pathways and biological networks, and (3) publish their findings on a regular basis. The project is coordinated in a transparent manner, regular meetings are organized and dissemination is arranged through tools, a toolbox web portal, a communications website and dedicated publications.
doi:10.1007/s12263-010-0192-8
PMCID: PMC2989004  PMID: 21189865
Micronutrient; Bioinformatics; Database; Genomics
19.  Type 2 diabetes mellitus and inflammation: Prospects for biomarkers of risk and nutritional intervention 
Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which is a significant health problem worldwide. Active disease is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation resulting in part from the activation of the innate immune system. In obesity, this activation leads to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6 that block major anabolic cascades downstream of insulin signaling and thus disrupt insulin homeostasis and action. Cytokines also trigger the production of acute-phase reactants such as C-reactive protein, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, serum amyloid-A, and haptoglobin. The elevated synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins (inflammatory network) characterizes the early (or pre-clinical) stages of T2DM and exhibits a graded increase with the disease progression. Current evidence suggests that understanding inflammatory networks can point to new biomarkers that may permit capturing the interaction between genetic and environmental risk factors in the pathogenesis of T2DM. Such biomarkers have a significant public health potential in the prediction of disease occurrence beyond risk factors presently monitored, such as family history, lifestyle assessment and standard clinical chemistry profiles. Furthermore, inflammatory markers may assist in the evaluation of novel strategies for prevention, particularly in relation to micronutrients. This review discusses the current knowledge linking T2DM risk to inflammatory signaling pathways interacting with the innate immunity system and the prospect of inflammatory markers serving as molecular targets for prevention and/or biomarkers for early risk prediction of T2DM. The potential of micronutrients replenishment to improve insulin action by attenuating inflammation is also evaluated in the context of the public health relevance of this approach.
PMCID: PMC3047967  PMID: 21437087
inflammation; biomarkers; prevention; type 2 diabetes
20.  Comparison of body mass index and waist circumference as predictors of cardiometabolic health in a population of young Canadian adults 
Background
This study aimed to investigate whether waist circumference (WC) or body mass index (BMI) is a better predictor of blood lipid concentrations among young men and women from different ethnocultural groups.
Methods
Participants were 1181 healthy men (n = 358) and women (n = 823) aged 20-29 years taken from the cross-sectional Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. Analyses were conducted separately for men and women, and for Caucasian and East Asian ethnocultural groups. Serum triglycerides (TG) and total to HDL cholesterol ratio (TC:HDL cholesterol) were used as outcomes. Associations between the adiposity and blood lipid measures were examined using partial correlations and odds ratios derived from logistic regression models.
Results
WC had a stronger association with serum lipid concentrations than BMI. WC was significantly related to TG and TC:HDL cholesterol after adjusting for BMI and covariates among men and women (P ≤ 0.01). However, after adjusting for WC and covariates, BMI was not significantly associated with the two serum lipid measures. WC was a better predictor of TG and TC:HDL among all sex and ethnocultural subgroups except among East Asian women where little difference between the two measures was observed.
Conclusions
WC is a stronger predictor of cardiometabolic health when compared with BMI among young adults, especially among men.
doi:10.1186/1758-5996-2-28
PMCID: PMC2883969  PMID: 20459858
21.  Effects of 9cis,11trans and 10trans,12cis CLA on osteoclast formation and activity from human CD14+ monocytes 
Background
Mixed CLA isomers variably affect bone resorption in animals and decrease osteoclast formation and activity in murine osteoclasts. These variable effects may be due to the different isomers present in commercial preparations of CLA, and the effects of the predominant individual isomers, 9cis,11trans (9,11) and 10trans,12cis (10,12) CLA are not clear. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of the individual CLA isomers on osteoclast formation and activity from human CD14+ monocytes, and to determine whether any changes are accompanied by changes in cathepsin K, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) gene expression. Osteoclasts were identified as TRAP+ multinucleated cells. Osteoclast activity was quantified by the amount of TRAP in the cultured media.
Results
At 50 μM, 9,11 CLA inhibited osteoclast formation by ~70%, and both 9,11 and 10,12 CLA decreased osteoclast activity by ~85–90%. Both isomers inhibited cathepsin K (50 μM 9,11 by ~60%; 10,12 by ~50%) and RANK (50 μM 9,11 by ~85%; 50 μM 10,12 by ~65%) expression, but had no effect on MMP-9 or TNFα expression.
Conclusion
9,11 CLA inhibits osteoclast formation and activity from human cells, suggesting that this isomer may prevent bone resorption in humans. Although 10,12 CLA did not significantly reduce osteoclast formation, it reduced osteoclast activity and cathepsin K and RANK expression, suggesting that this isomer may also affect bone resorption.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-8-15
PMCID: PMC2680857  PMID: 19402897
22.  Coffee, CYP1A2 genotype and risk of myocardial infarction 
Genes & Nutrition  2007;2(1):155-156.
doi:10.1007/s12263-007-0043-4
PMCID: PMC2474926  PMID: 18850169
Coffee; Caffeine; CYP1A2; Myocardial infarction; Nutrigenetics

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