It is becoming increasingly apparent that responsiveness to dietary fat composition is heterogeneous and dependent on the genetic make-up of the individual. The aim of this study was to evidence a genotype-related differential effect of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) on the modulation of hepatic genes involved in cholesterol metabolism. Fourteen spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats, which present a naturally occurring variation in the gene encoding for sterol responsive element binding protein 1 (SREBP-1), contributing to their inherited variation in lipid metabolism, and 14 Wistar-Kyoto (WK) rats were fed a control diet or an n-3 LC-PUFA enriched diet for 90 days. Plasma lipid profile, total lipid fatty acid composition in plasma and liver, and the expression of SREBP-1 and 2, 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase, low-density lipoprotein receptor, and acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase 2 encoding genes and proteins were determined. The positive effect of the enriched diet on the serum lipid profile, particularly on total cholesterol and triglyceride level, was clearly evidenced in both WK and SH rats, but n-3 LC-PUFA acted through a different modulation of gene and protein expression that appeared related to the genetic background. Our study evidences a different transcriptional effect of specific nutrients related to genetic variants.
n-3 LC-PUFA; Gene expression; Protein expression; Genotype; Cholesterol; Spontaneously hypertensive rats
The anti-inflammatory potential of eight indigenous probiotic Lactobacillus isolates was evaluated in vitro in terms of modulating the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in human acute monocytic leukemia (THP-1) cells under inflammatory conditions. Amongst these, Lactobacillus plantarum Lp91 was the most potent anti-inflammatory strain as it evoked a significant (P < 0.001) down-regulation of TNF-α by −1.45-fold relative to the control in THP-1 cells. However, in terms of IL-6 expression, all the strains could up-regulate its expression considerably at different levels. Hence, based on in vitro expression of TNF-α, Lp91 was selected for in vivo study in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mouse model to look at the expression of TNF-α, IL-6, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) and E-selectin in mouse aorta. In LPS challenged (2 h) mice group fed with Lp91 for 10 days, TNF-α, IL-6, MCP-1, VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and E-selectin expressions were significantly down-regulated by 3.10-, 10.02-, 4.22-, −3.14-, 2.28- and 5.71-fold relative to control conditions. In conclusion, Lp91 could serve as a candidate probiotic strain to explore it as a possible biotherapeutic anti-inflammatory agent against inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-013-0347-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Probiotic; Lipopolysaccharide; Cardiovascular diseases; Intercellular adhesion molecule; Monocyte chemotactic protein-1; Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1
Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms may predispose that not all individuals could have benefits from the nutritional supplementation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Furthermore, vitamin D-related cardiovascular effects may also be influenced by soy isoflavones considered endocrine regulators of cardiovascular homeostasis. To find possible gene–diet interactions by evaluating individualized lipid metabolism benefits from an increase in soy and 25-hydroxyvitamin D intake, 106 healthy individuals, genotyped for vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphism rs1544410 (BsmI) were randomly assigned to either no intake, to daily 250 mL or 500 mL of a 25-hydroxyvitamin D supplemented SB for 2 months. The soybean beverage induced differences in cardiovascular risk factors (lipid profile, blood pressure, TNFα and MCP-1), as well as vitamin D metabolites in a dose-gene-dependent relation. Thus, VDR BsmI polymorphism affected individual response being the GG genotype the ones that showed dose-dependent manner responsiveness in the reduction in total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides in comparison with the AA/AG genotype. These differences were associated with increased plasma levels of 1α,25-dyhydroxyvitamin D3 in the carriers of the GG genotype. It was concluded that metabolic response to 25-hydroxyvitamin D and soybean supplementation is dependent on VDR BsmI GG genotype due to a higher conversion rate from vitamin D precursors.
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Vitamin D receptor; Vitamin D; Soy; Lipid profile
Vitamin C is known to protect mucosal tissues from oxidative stress and inhibit nitrosamine formation in the stomach. High consumption of fruits, particularly citrus, and higher circulating vitamin C concentrations may be inversely associated with gastric cancer (GC) risk. We investigated 20 polymorphisms in vitamin C transporter genes SCL23A1 and SCL23A2 and GC risk in 365 cases and 1,284 controls nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. We also evaluated the association between these polymorphisms and baseline plasma vitamin C levels in a subset of participants. Four SNPs were predictors of plasma vitamin C levels (SLC23A1 rs11950646 and rs33972313; SLC23A2 rs6053005 and rs6133175) in multivariable linear regression models. One SNP (SLC23A2 rs6116569) was associated with GC risk, in particular non-cardia GC (OR = 1.63, 95 % CI = 1.11–2.39, based on 178 non-cardia cases), but this association was attenuated when plasma vitamin C was included in the logistic regression model. Haplotype analysis of SLC23A1 yielded no associations with GC. In SLC23A2, one haplotype was associated with both overall and non-cardia GC, another haplotype was associated with GC overall, and a third was associated with intestinal-type GC. Common variants in SLC23A1 and SLC23A2 may influence plasma vitamin C concentration independent of dietary intake, and variation in SLC23A2 may influence GC risk. Additional prospective studies in large populations and consortia are recommended. Investigation of variation in vitamin C transporter genes may shed light on the preventative properties of vitamin C in gastric carcinogenesis.
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Gastric cancer; Vitamin C; Antioxidants; Genetic susceptibility; SLC23A1; SLC23A2
As a result of expanding scientific understanding of the interplay between genetics and dietary risk factors, those involved in nutritional management need to understand genetics and nutritional genomics in order to inform management of individuals and groups. The aim of this study was to measure and determine factors affecting dietitians’ knowledge, involvement and confidence in genetics and nutritional genomics across the US, Australia and the UK. A cross-sectional study was undertaken using an online questionnaire that measured knowledge and current involvement and confidence in genetics and nutritional genomics. The questionnaire was distributed to dietitians in the US, Australia and the UK using email lists from the relevant professional associations. Data were collected from 1,844 dietitians who had practiced in the previous 6 months. The main outcomes were knowledge of genetics and nutritional genomics and involvement and confidence in undertaking clinical and educational activities related to genetics and nutritional genomics. Mean scores for knowledge, involvement and confidence were calculated. Analysis of variance and χ2 analysis were used to compare scores and frequencies. Multivariate linear regression was used to determine predictors of high scores. The results demonstrated significant differences in involvement (p < 0.001) and confidence (p < 0.001) but not knowledge scores (p = 0.119) between countries. Overall, dietitians reported low levels of knowledge (mean knowledge score 56.3 %), involvement (mean number of activities undertaken 20.0–22.7 %) and confidence (mean confidence score 25.8–29.7 %). Significant relationships between confidence, involvement and knowledge were observed. Variables relating to education, experience, sector of employment and attitudes were also significantly associated with knowledge, involvement and confidence. Dietitians’ knowledge, involvement and confidence relating to genetics and nutritional genomics remain low and further investigation into factors contributing to this is required.
International; Nutrigenetics; Nutrigenomics; Dietitian
Long-term fructose consumption has been shown to evoke leptin resistance, to elevate triglyceride levels and to induce insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. Autophagy has been suggested to function in processes such as lipid storage in adipose tissue and inflammation in liver. Autophagy and the leptin system have also been suggested to regulate each other. This study aimed to identify the changes caused by fetal undernourishment and postnatal fructose diet in the gene expression of leptin, its receptors (LEPR-a, LEPR-b, LEPR-c, LEPR-e and LEPR-f) and autophagy genes in the white adipose tissue (WAT) and liver of adult male rats in order to clarify the mechanism behind the metabolic alterations. The data clearly revealed that the long-term postnatal fructose diet decreased leptin levels (p < 0.001), LEPR (p < 0.001), especially LEPR-b (p = 0.011) and LEPR-f (p = 0.005), as well as SOCS3 (p < 0.001), ACC (p = 0.006), ATG7 (p < 0.001), MAP1LC3β (p < 0.001) and LAMP2 (p = 0.004) mRNA expression in WAT. Furthermore, LEPR (p < 0.001), especially LEPR-b (p = 0.001) and LEPR-f (p < 0.001), ACC (p = 0.010), ATG7 (p = 0.024), MAP1LC3β (p = 0.003) and LAMP2 (p < 0.001) mRNA expression in the liver was increased in fructose-fed rats. In addition, the LEPR expression in liver and MAP1LC3β expression in WAT together explained 55.7 % of the variation in the plasma triglyceride levels of the rats (Radj.2 = 0.557, p < 0.001). These results, together with increased p62 levels in WAT (p < 0.001), could indicate decreased adipose tissue lipid storing capacity as well as alterations in liver metabolism which may represent a plausible mechanism through which fructose consumption could disturb lipid metabolism and result in elevated triglyceride levels.
Leptin receptor; Autophagy; Fructose; Adipose tissue; Liver
The serotonergic pathway plays a major role in the development of obesity. Its activity can be modulated by the 5-HT transporter–linked polymorphic region in the SLC6A4 gene and the upstream variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism in the MAOA gene. We studied whether these genetic modulations have an influence on weight reduction and weight maintenance in a one-year weight reduction program (OPTIFAST®52). The polymorphisms were genotyped by PCR in a sample of 135 female and 67 male subjects with severe obesity (44 ± 13 years, 122.3 ± 22.2 kg, BMI: 41.7 ± 6.7 kg/m2). The program leads to a total weight loss of 19.9 ± 9.8 kg (16.9 ± 8.3 %) in women and 27.4 ± 13.6 kg (20.4 ± 9.9 %) in men. Anthropometric measurements and blood levels were determined at the start of the program (T0), after the weight reduction phase (T1) and after the subsequent weight maintenance phase at the end of the program (T2). Each polymorphism alone did not significantly influence weight loss or weight maintenance neither in men nor in women. However, women carrying both risk genotypes (SS and 3/3) displayed a lower total weight loss during the program (p = 0.05). This effect derived mainly from difficulties in the weight maintenance phase (p = 0.11), while the weight reduction phase was not affected (p = 0.61). No influence was found in men (p = 0.93). Modulation of the serotonergic pathway by carrying both risk alleles seems to influence success of weight loss programs in women with severe obesity due to problems in stabilizing body weight after weight reduction.
The PCMT1 gene encodes the protein repair enzyme protein-l-isoaspartate (d-aspartate) O-methyltransferase, which is known to protect certain neural cells against Bax-induced apoptosis. Previous studies have produced inconsistent results regarding the effects of PCMT1 (rs4816 and rs4552) polymorphisms on neural tube defects (NTDs). Reduced maternal plasma folate levels and/or elevated homocysteine (Hcy) levels are considered to be risk factors for NTDs. In order to clarify the key factors contributing to the apparent discrepancy and investigate gene–environment interaction, we conducted a case–control study including 121 cases and 146 matched controls to investigate the association between the two PCMT1 polymorphisms in fetuses and the risk of NTDs in the Chinese population of Lvliang, which has low folate intake. Maternal plasma folate and Hcy levels were also measured, and the interaction between fetal PCMT1 gene status and maternal folate metabolites was assessed. Maternal plasma folate concentrations in the NTD group were lower than in controls (10.23 vs. 13.08 nmol/L, adjusted P = 0.059), and Hcy concentrations were significantly higher (14.46 vs. 11.65 μmol/L, adjusted P = 0.026). Fetuses carrying the rs4816 AG + GG genotype, combined with higher maternal plasma Hcy, had a 6.46-fold (95 % CI 1.15–36.46) increased risk of anencephaly. The results of this study imply that the fetal PCMT1 rs4816 polymorphism may play only a weak role in NTD formation and that gene–environment interactions might be more significant.
Association study; PCMT1; Homocysteine; Neural tube defect; Gene–environment interaction
Genetic and nutritional factors play a role in determining the functionality of the one-carbon (1C) metabolism cycle, a network of biochemical reactions critical to intracellular processes. Genes encoding enzymes for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and methionine synthase (MTR) may determine biomarkers of the cycle including homocysteine (HCY), S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH). MTHFR C677T is an established genetic determinant of HCY but less is known of its effect on SAM and SAH. Conversely, the relationship between MTR A2756G and HCY remains inconclusive, and its effect on SAM and SAH has only been previously investigated in a female-specific population. Folate and vitamin B12 are essential substrate and cofactor of 1C metabolism; thus, consideration of gene–nutrient interactions may clarify the role of genetic determinants of HCY, SAM and SAH. This cross-sectional study included 570 healthy volunteers from Kingston, Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Least squares regression was used to examine the effects of MTR and MTHFR polymorphisms on plasma HCY, SAM and SAH concentrations; gene–gene and gene–nutrient interactions were considered with the inclusion of cross-products in the model. Main effects of MTR and MTHFR polymorphisms on HCY concentrations were observed; however, no gene–gene or gene–nutrient interactions were found. No association was observed for SAM. For SAH, interactions between MTR and MTHFR polymorphisms, and MTHFR polymorphism and serum folate were found. The findings of this research provide evidence that HCY and SAH, biomarkers of 1C metabolism, are influenced by genetic and nutritional factors and their interactions.
Methionine synthase; Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; Homocysteine; S-adenosylmethionine; S-adenosylhomocysteine; One-carbon metabolism
Malnutrition inflammation syndrome (MIS) is common among ESRD patients. In the present study, we have investigated the association of genetic markers associated with appetite and energy regulation with malnutrition inflammation syndrome among end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. Two hundred and fifty-seven patients on maintenance hemodialysis and 200 normal healthy controls were included in the study. Nutritional assessment was done by subjective global assessment scores (SGA). Genotyping of leptin-2548 G/A (rs7799039), ghrelin Leu72Met (rs696217-408 C/A), Arg51Gln (rs34911341-346 G/A) and uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) 45 bp insertion deletion was done using PCR–RFLP. Levels of leptin and acyl ghrelin were assessed using ELISA. Leptin-2548 AA genotype was associated with twofold higher risk of disease susceptibility while UCP2 insertion–deletion heterozygotes showed protective effect. Ghrelin Gln51Gln and Met72Met genotype were associated with 3.4- and 2.5-fold higher disease susceptibility. The Met72 and Gln51 allele showed 3.3- and 2.1-fold higher susceptibility to malnutrition in severe SGA group. Further, the levels of acyl ghrelin were significantly less in severe category of malnutrition and in poor appetite group. On combined analysis, the group 2 (presence of 3–4 risk alleles) showed 1.5- and twofold higher susceptibility to disease and malnutrition, respectively. On docking analysis, it was observed that higher receptor binding energy was associated with the mutant form of ghrelin (Gln51). Moderate and severe SGA were associated with 2.2- and 4.1-fold higher death hazard. Our study suggests that ghrelin may be major marker contributing to susceptibility to MIS among ESRD patients.
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End-stage renal disease; Malnutrition inflammation syndrome; Leptin; Ghrelin UCP2
A long-term high-fat diet may result in a fatty liver. However, whether or not high-fat diets affect the hepatic circadian clock is controversial. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of timed high-fat diet on the hepatic circadian clock and clock-controlled peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α-mediated lipogenic gene expressions. Mice were orally administered high-fat milk in the evening for 4 weeks. The results showed that some hepatic clock genes, such as Clock, brain-muscle-Arnt-like 1 (Bmal1), Period 2 (Per2), and Cryptochrome 2 (Cry2) exhibited obvious changes in rhythms and/or amplitudes. Alterations in the expression of clock genes, in turn, further altered the circadian rhythm of PPARα expression. Among the PPARα target genes, cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, low-density lipoprotein receptor, lipoprotein lipase, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) showed marked changes in rhythms and/or amplitudes. In particular, significant changes in the expressions of DGAT and CYP7A1 were observed. The effects of a high-fat diet on the expression of lipogenic genes in the liver were accompanied by increased hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These results suggest that timed high-fat diets at night could change the hepatic circadian expressions of clock genes Clock, Bmal1, Per2, and Cry2 and subsequently alter the circadian expression of PPARα-mediated lipogenic genes, resulting in hepatic lipid accumulation.
High-fat diet; Clock genes; Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α; Lipid metabolism; Mice
Diet is generally believed to affect the aging process. The effects of complex foods on life span can be investigated using simple models that produce rapid results and allow the identification of food–gene interactions. Here, we show that 1 % lyophilized broccoli, added to flour as a dietary source, significantly increases the life span of the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) under physiological conditions (32 °C) and under heat stress (42 °C). The beneficial effects of broccoli could also be reproduced by supplementing flour with the isothiocyanate sulforaphane at concentrations found in the broccoli-supplemented diet. We identified stress-resistant genes responsible for these effects on longevity by microinjecting pupae with double-stranded RNA to induce RNA interference (RNAi). The knockdown of transcripts encoding homologs of Nrf-2, Jnk-1 and Foxo-1 reduced the life span of beetles and abrogated the beneficial effects of broccoli, whereas the knockdown of Sirt-1 and Sirt-3 had no impact in either scenario. In conclusion, T. castaneum is a suitable model organism to investigate food–gene interactions that affect stress resistance and longevity, and RNAi can be used to identify functionally relevant genes. As a proof of principle, we have shown here that broccoli increases the longevity of beetles and mediates its effect through signaling pathways that include key stress-resistant factors such as Nrf-2, Jnk-1 and Foxo-1.
Longevity; Stress resistance; Tribolium castaneum; Food–gene interactions; Isothiocyanates
Zinc is an essential trace element required for enzyme catalysis, gene regulation and signal transduction. Zinc absorption takes place in the small intestine; however, the mechanisms by which cells accumulate zinc are not entirely clear. Zip1 (SLC39A1) is a predicted transmembrane protein that is postulated, but not conclusively proven to mediate zinc influx in gut cells. The aim of this study was to investigate a role for hZip1 in mediating zinc uptake in human enterocytes. Both hZip1 mRNA and protein were detected in human intestinal tissue. In non-differentiated Caco-2 human gut cells, hZip1 was partially localised to the endoplasmic reticulum. In contrast, in differentiated Caco-2 cells cultured in extracellular matrix, the hZip1 protein was located in proximity to the apical microvilli. Lack of surface antibody binding and internalisation indicated that hZip1 was not present on the plasma membrane. Functional studies to establish a role for hZip1 in cellular zinc accumulation were carried out using 65Zn. In Caco-2 cells harbouring an hZip1 overexpression construct, cellular zinc accumulation was enhanced relative to the control. Conversely, Caco-2 cells with an hZip1 siRNA construct showed reduced zinc accumulation. In summary, we show that the Caco-2 cell differentiation endorses targeting of hZip1 to a region near the apical domain. Given the absence of hZip1 at the apical plasma membrane, we propose that hZip1 may act as an intracellular sensor to regulate zinc homoeostasis in human gut cells.
Zinc homoeostasis; Zinc transporter; hZip1 (SLC39A1); Human gut
n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have anti-obesity effects that may modulate risk of obesity, in part, through interactions with genetic factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genetic variants associated with body mass index (BMI); however, the extent to which these variants influence adiposity through interactions with n-3 PUFAs remains unknown. We evaluated 10 highly replicated obesity GWAS single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for individual and cumulative associations with adiposity phenotypes in a cross-sectional sample of Yup’ik people (n = 1,073) and evaluated whether genetic associations with obesity were modulated by n-3 PUFA intake. A genetic risk score (GRS) was calculated by adding the BMI-increasing alleles across all 10 SNPs. Dietary intake of n-3 PUFAs was estimated using nitrogen stable isotope ratio (δ15N) of red blood cells, and genotype–phenotype analyses were tested in linear models accounting for familial correlations. GRS was positively associated with BMI (p = 0.012), PBF (p = 0.022), ThC (p = 0.025), and waist circumference (p = 0.038). The variance in adiposity phenotypes explained by the GRS included BMI (0.7 %), PBF (0.3 %), ThC (0.7 %), and WC (0.5 %). GRS interactions with n-3 PUFAs modified the association with adiposity and accounted for more than twice the phenotypic variation (~1–2 %), relative to GRS associations alone. Obesity GWAS SNPs contribute to adiposity in this study population of Yup’ik people and interactions with n-3 PUFA intake potentiated the risk of fat accumulation among individuals with high obesity GRS. These data suggest the anti-obesity effects of n-3 PUFAs among Yup’ik people may, in part, be dependent upon an individual’s genetic predisposition to obesity.
Electronic supplementary material
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BMI; Adiposity; Alaska Native; SNP; δ15N; rs9939609; rs7647305; FTO; ETV5; Genetic risk score; CANHR; Gene-by-environment interactions
Healthier eating is a global challenge for chronic disease control. Food and Health Research in Europe (FAHRE) surveyed research structures and programmes in 32 countries, and reviewed research needs and gaps across nine themes. Food processing and safety research, nutrition and molecular research, and disease-based clinical research are strong; but research is weak on determinants of disease and healthier eating through policies and changing behaviours. Biomedical and commercial research for patents contrast with social research for the public interest. More funding and capacity support should go to social research in the food and health sector.
Research priorities; Nutrition policy; Social sciences
There is a clear link between overweight, gain of white adipose tissue, and diabetes type 2 (T2D). The molecular mechanism of the gain of adipose tissue is linked with the expression of high mobility group protein AT-hook 2 (HMGA2), and recent studies revealed an association with a SNP near HMGA2. In this study, we investigated the gene expression of HMGA2, p14Arf, CDKN1A, and BAX in human abdominal subcutaneous white adipose tissue from 157 patients. We found a significant higher HMGA2 expression in obese individuals than in non-obese patients. Furthermore, the HMGA2 expression in white adipose tissue in patient with type 2 diabetes was significantly higher than in nondiabetic patients. There is an association between the DNA-binding nonhistone protein HMGA2 and the risk of developing T2D that remains mechanistically unexplained so far. Likewise, p14Arf, an inducer of cellular senescence, has been associated with the occurrence of T2D. The data of the present study provide evidence that both proteins act within the same network to drive proliferation of adipose tissue stem and precursor cells, senescence, and increased risk of T2D, respectively.
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HMGA2; Subcutaneous abdominal white adipose tissue; Type 2 diabetes; ADSCs; p14Arf
Mice fed long-term high-fat diets (HFD) are an established model for human metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. However, also the effects of short-term HFD feeding should be investigated to understand which are the first events that trigger the onset of a pre-disease condition, the so-called metabolic syndrome, that increases the risk of developing clinical diseases. In this study, C57BL/6N mice were fed a control diet (CTR) or a HFD for 1 (T1) or 2 weeks (T2). Metabolic and histological effects were examined. Cecum transcriptomes of HFD and CTR mice were compared at T2 by microarray analysis. Differentially expressed genes were validated by real-time PCR in the cecum and in the liver. After 2 weeks of diet administration, HFD mice showed an altered expression pattern in only seven genes, four of which are involved in the circadian clock regulatory pathway. Real-time PCR confirmed microarray results of the cecum and revealed the same trend of clock gene expression changes in the liver. These findings suggest that clock genes may play an important role in early controlling gut output systems in response to HFD in mice and that their expression change may also represent an early signaling of the development of an intestinal pro-inflammatory status.
Cecum; Clock genes; Microarray analysis; Nutrigenomics; Short-term high-fat diet
Childhood obesity is a worldwide health concern with a multifaceted and sometimes confounding etiology. Dairy products have been implicated as both pro- and anti-obesogenic, perhaps due to the confounding relationship between dairy, lactose consumption, and potential genetic predisposition. We aimed to understand how lactase persistence influenced obesity-related traits by observing the relationships among lactose consumption, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) near the lactase (LCT) gene and body composition parameters in a sample of multiethnic children (n = 296, 7–12 years old). We hypothesized that individuals with the lactase persistence (LP) allele of the LCT SNP (rs4988235) would exhibit a greater degree of adiposity and that this relationship would be mediated by lactose consumption. Body composition variables were measured using dual X-ray absorptiometry and a registered dietitian assessed dietary intake of lactose. Statistical models were adjusted for sex, age, pubertal stage, ethnic group, genetic admixture, socio-economic status, and total energy intake. Our findings indicate a positive, significant association between the LP allele and body mass index (p = 0.034), fat mass index (FMI) (p = 0.043), and waist circumference (p = 0.008), with associations being stronger in males than in females. Our results also reveal that lactose consumption is positively and nearly significantly associated with FMI.
Lactose; Obesity; Children; Genetics; Lactase persistence; Body composition
Gene–environment interactions need to be studied to better understand the obesity. We aimed at determining whether genetic susceptibility to obesity associates with diet intake levels and whether diet intakes modify the genetic susceptibility. In 29,480 subjects of the population-based Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS), we first assessed association between 16 genome-wide association studies identified obesity-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with body mass index (BMI) and associated traits. We then conducted association analyses between a genetic risk score (GRS) comprising of 13 replicated SNPs and the individual SNPs, and relative dietary intakes of fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber and total energy intake, as well as interaction analyses on BMI and associated traits among 26,107 nondiabetic MDCS participants. GRS associated strongly with increased BMI (P = 3.6 × 10−34), fat mass (P = 6.3 × 10−28) and fat-free mass (P = 1.3 × 10−24). Higher GRS associated with lower total energy intake (P = 0.001) and higher intake of fiber (P = 2.3 × 10−4). No significant interactions were observed between GRS and the studied dietary intakes on BMI or related traits. Of the individual SNPs, after correcting for multiple comparisons, NEGR1 rs2815752 associated with diet intakes and BDNF rs4923461 showed interaction with protein intake on BMI. In conclusion, our study does not provide evidence for a major role for macronutrient-, fiber- or total energy intake levels in modifying genetic susceptibility to obesity measured as GRS. However, our data suggest that the number of risk alleles as well as some of the individual obesity loci may have a role in regulation of food and energy intake and that some individual loci may interact with diet.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-013-0352-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Obesity susceptibility loci; Fat mass; Fat-free mass; Gene–diet interactions; Macronutrients; Genetic risk score
In personalized nutrition, food is a tool for good health, implying an instrumental relationship between food and health. Food receives a secondary value, while health would appear to be a descriptive biological concept. This article gives an introduction to cultural understandings of food and health. The wider definition of food and health is explored in relation to the commonly used scientific approach that tends to take a more reductionist approach to food and health. The different discourses on food and health are being discussed in relation to ethical aspects of personalized nutrition. The success of personalized nutrition is likely dependent upon the ability to integrate the scientific approach with everyday cultural, emotional, ethical, and sensual understandings of food. Health theories can be divided into two principal rival types—biostatistical and holistic. Biostatistical focuses on survival, while holistic focuses on ability as a precondition for health. Arguments in favor of a holistic and individualistic theory of health and illness are presented. This implies a focus on the ability of the individual to realize his or her “vital goals.” A holistic and individualistic health concept may have a reinforcing effect on the individualized approach in personalized nutrition. It allows focus on individual health premises and related dietary means of health promotion, as well as an individualized perspective on the objectives of health promotion. An individualistic notion of health also indicates that people with high levels of vital goals benefit more easily. To reach beyond these groups is likely difficult. This potential injustice should be balanced with global preventive medical programs.
Personalized nutrition; Ethics; Food; Health
Studies have demonstrated large within-population heterogeneity in plasma triacylglycerol (TG) response to n-3 PUFA supplementation. The objective of the study was to compare metabolomic and transcriptomic profiles of responders and non-responders of an n-3 PUFA supplementation. Thirty subjects completed a 2-week run-in period followed by a 6-week supplementation with n-3 PUFA (3 g/d). Six subjects did not lower their plasma TG (+9 %) levels (non-responders) and were matched to 6 subjects who lowered TG (−41 %) concentrations (responders) after the n-3 PUFA supplementation. Pre-n-3 PUFA supplementation characteristics did not differ between the non-responders and responders except for plasma glucose concentrations. In responders, changes were observed for plasma hexose concentrations, docosahexaenoic acid, stearoyl-CoA-desaturase-18 ratio, and the extent of saturation of glycerophosphatidylcholine after n-3 PUFA supplementation; however, no change in these parameters was observed in non-responders. Transcriptomic profiles after n-3 PUFA supplementation indicate changes in glycerophospholipid metabolism in both subgroups and sphingolipid metabolism in non-responders. Six key genes in lipid metabolism: fatty acid desaturase 2, phospholipase A2 group IVA, arachidonate 15-lipoxygenase, phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, monoglyceride lipase, and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, were expressed in opposing direction between subgroups. In sum, results highlight key differences in lipid metabolism of non-responders compared to responders after an n-3 PUFA supplementation, which may explain the inter-individual variability in plasma TG response.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0328-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Lipidomics; Metabolic pathways; Metabolites; Microarray; Nutrigenomics
Personalized nutrition has the potential to enhance individual health control. It could be seen as a means to strengthen people’s autonomy as they learn more about their personal health risks, and receive dietary advice accordingly. We examine in what sense personalized nutrition strengthens or weakens individual autonomy. The impact of personalized nutrition on autonomy is analyzed in relation to responsibility and trustworthiness. On a societal level, individualization of health promotion may be accompanied by the attribution of extended individual responsibility for one’s health. This constitutes a dilemma of individualization, caused by a conflict between the right to individual freedom and societal interests. The extent to which personalized nutrition strengthens autonomy is consequently influenced by how responsibility for health is allocated to individuals. Ethically adequate allocation of responsibility should focus on prospective responsibility and be differentiated with regard to individual differences concerning the capacity of adults to take responsibility. The impact of personalized nutrition on autonomy also depends on its methodological design. Owing to the complexity of information received, personalized nutrition through genetic testing (PNTGT) is open to misinterpretation and may not facilitate informed choices and autonomy. As new technologies, personalized nutrition and PNTGT are subject to issues of trust. To strengthen autonomy, trust should be approached in terms of trustworthiness. Trustworthiness implies that an organization that develops or introduces personalized nutrition can show that it is competent to deal with both the technical and moral dimensions at stake and that its decisions are motivated by the interests and expectations of the truster.
Personalized nutrition; Ethics; Autonomy; Responsibility; Trustworthiness
The detrimental effects of high oxygen supplementation have been widely reported. Conversely, few is known about the effects of exposure to mild hyperoxic conditions, an interesting issue since the use of oxygen-enriched mixture is now increasingly used in clinical practice and especially for professional and recreational reasons. Our study investigated if in vitro exposure of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to moderate hyperoxia (O2 32 %) induces cellular alterations, measured as changes in cell signaling pathways. Furthermore, by means of an ex vivo experimental model where human volunteers were used as bioreactors, we studied whether anthocyanin metabolites are able to protect HUVECs against mild hyperoxia-induced damage. We observed that the cytotoxic effect of mild hyperoxia came along with a significant decrease in nuclear accumulation of the transcription factor Nrf2, as well as in the expression of Nrf2-regulated antioxidant and cytoprotective genes. Furthermore, under normoxic conditions, anthocyanin metabolites appeared able to activate the Nrf2 pathway, through the involvement of specific kinases (ERK1/2); this adaptive effect may explain the protective effect observed in mild hyperoxia-exposed HUVECs following anthocyanin pretreatment. This study confirms that dietary anthocyanins and/or their metabolites can protect endothelial cells against mild hyperoxia-induced alterations acting as cell signaling modulators.
Mild hyperoxia; Anthocyanins; Endothelial cells; Cellular adaptive response; Nrf2/ARE pathway
This article discusses the prospects and limitations of the scientific basis for offering personalized nutrition advice based upon individual genetic information. Two divergent scientific positions are presented, with an ethical comment. The crucial question is whether the current knowledge base is sufficiently strong for taking an ethically responsible decision to offer personalized nutrition advice based upon gene–diet–health interaction. According to the first position, the evidence base for translating the outcomes of nutrigenomics research into personalized nutritional advice is as yet immature. There is also limited evidence that genotype-based dietary advice will motivate appropriate behavior changes. Filling the gaps in our knowledge will require larger and better randomized controlled trials. According to the second position, personalized nutrition must be evaluated in relation to generally accepted standard dietary advice—partly derived from epidemiological observations and usually not proven by clinical trials. With personalized nutrition, we cannot demand stronger evidence. In several specific cases of gene–diet interaction, it may be more beneficial for individuals with specific genotypes to follow personalized advice rather than general dietary recommendations. The ethical comment, finally, considers the ethical aspects of deciding how to proceed in the face of such uncertainty. Two approaches for an ethically responsible way forward are proposed. Arguing from a precautionary approach, it is suggested that personalized dietary advice should be offered only when there is strong scientific evidence for health effects, followed by stepwise evaluation of unforeseen behavioral and psychological effects. Arguing from theoretical and applied ethics as well as psychology, it is also suggested that personalized advice should avoid paternalism and instead focus on supporting the autonomous choice of each person.
Ethics; Personalized nutrition; Nutrigenetics; Evidence; Paternalism; Autonomy
Obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) increases the risk of developing lifestyle-related diseases. A subgroup of obese individuals has been described as “metabolically healthy, but obese” (MHO). In contrast to at-risk obese (ARO), the MHO phenotype is defined by a favourable lipid profile and a normal or only slightly affected insulin sensitivity, despite the same amount of body fat. The objective was to characterize the metabolic phenotype of MHO subjects. We screened a variety of genes involved in lipid metabolism and inflammation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Obese subjects (men and women; 18–70 years) with BMI ≥30 kg/m2 were characterized as MHO (n = 9) or as ARO (n = 10). In addition, eleven healthy, normal weight subjects characterized as healthy by the same criteria as described for the MHO subjects were included. We found that with similar weight, total fat mass and fat mass distribution, the ARO subjects have increased plasma levels of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and free fatty acids. This group also has altered expression levels of a number of genes linked to lipid metabolism in PBMC with reduced gene expression levels of uncoupling protein 2, hormone-sensitive lipase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ compared with MHO subjects. The present metabolic differences between subgroups of obese subjects may contribute to explain some of the underlying mechanisms causing the increased risk of disease among ARO subjects compared with MHO subjects.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0329-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Lipid metabolism; PBMC; Metabolically healthy obese; Gene expression