Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genes and diet linked to risk factors for heart disease

10.10.2006
Researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and colleagues have found another link among genes, heart disease and diet. The study, published in Circulation, examined apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5), a gene that codes for a protein, which in turn plays a role in the metabolism of fats in the blood.

The results show that people who carry a particular variant of APOA5 may have elevated risk factors that are associated with heart disease, but only if they also consumed high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids in their diets.

Corresponding author Chao-Qiang Lai, PhD, a USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist at the USDA HNRCA, and colleagues analyzed lipid levels and dietary assessment questionnaires of more than 2,000 participants in the Framingham Heart Study and quantified their intake of different types of fats.

Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and, according to a report from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, most Americans consume about 10 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. Omega-3s are found in nuts, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, and vegetable oils like canola and flaxseed, while omega-6s are found in grains, meats, vegetable oils like corn and soy, and also processed foods made with these oils. Both omega-3s and omega-6s, known as essential fatty acids, must be consumed in the diet because they are not made by the body.

"We know that some people are genetically predisposed to risk factors for heart disease, such as elevated low-density lipoprotein levels in the blood," says Lai, "and that APOA5 has an important role in lipoprotein metabolism. We wanted to determine if certain dietary factors change the role of APOA5 in metabolizing these lipoproteins and their components, such as triglycerides."

Lai and colleagues found that approximately 13 percent of both men and women in the study were carriers of the gene variant. Those individuals that consumed more than six percent of daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids displayed a blood lipid profile more prone to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease, including higher triglyceride levels.

Jose Ordovas, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the Nutrition and Genomics Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA, notes that "previous research points to polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s as 'good' fats, thought to reduce risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels if used in place of saturated fats that are mostly found in animal sources."

Ordovas continues, "Research hasn't shown us yet if there is an optimal ratio for omega- 3s to omega-6s, or if consuming a certain amount of omega-6s might negate the benefits of omega-3s. We do know that omega-6s are necessary for the body and can be a source of healthful fat in the diet, but for the 13 percent who are carriers of the particular APOA5 gene variant, consuming fewer omega-6s in relation to omega-3s may be important, as it might help reduce the risk of developing precursors to heart disease."

The carriers of the variant who ate more than six percent of total calories from omega-6s had a 21 percent increase in triglyceride levels, as well as an approximately 34 percent elevation of certain atherogenic lipoprotein particles in the blood.

Carriers who consumed less than six percent of total calories from omega-6s did not show a significant increase in the lipid levels that are risk factors for heart disease. In contrast to omega-6s, higher consumption of omega-3s decreased triglyceride and atherogenic lipoprotein particle levels in the blood, regardless of a person's APOA5 gene variant.

Although the researchers analyzed information on several types of dietary fat, including saturated fat and monounsaturated fat, the interactions between diet and APOA5 were seen only with PUFAs, "adding evidence to the prominent role of PUFAs as modulators of genetic effects in lipid metabolism," write the authors. They go on to explain that "a more complete understanding of these factors and a thoughtful use of this information should help in the identification of vulnerable populations who will benefit from more personalized dietary recommendations."

A second study published by Ordovas, Lai, and colleagues in the Journal of Lipid Research also studied variants of the APOA5 gene in participants in the Framingham Heart Study to determine if the gene is related to atherosclerosis. The authors, including corresponding author Christopher O'Donnell of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, and first author Roberto Elosua, a former Fulbright-Generalitat de Cataluña fellow who works with Ordovas, found that while most variants of the APOA5 gene were not associated with carotid intimal medial thickness (IMT), a surrogate measure of atherosclerosis burden, particular gene variants were "significantly associated with carotid IMT in obese participants."

Carriers of the particular gene variants who were obese expressed the effects of the gene variant differently than carriers who were not obese, showing a greater build-up of plaque in the heart. This was true for participants who were obese regardless of fat and cholesterol levels in the blood, age, gender, smoking or diabetes status, weight-for-height and blood pressure, all factors which are thought to influence risk of heart disease. Lai notes that "although obesity is a known contributing factor to heart disease, the association was strengthened in carriers of the rare APOA5 variant who were obese."

"It may be more important for some people to make preventive dietary and lifestyle changes than others, depending on their genetic makeup," says Ordovas. "The 'bad' genotype, in this study, doesn't seem to be that bad unless it's triggered by obesity," he concludes. "The observations, while strong, should be considered with caution and confirmed in other studies. Also, the findings were restricted to a Caucasian cohort and may not be generalizable to other ethnic cohorts."

Siobhan Gallagher | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tufts.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>