Genetic Variants in the FADS Gene: Implications for Dietary Recommendations for Fatty Acid Intake
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Unequivocally, genetic variants within the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) cluster are determinants of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) levels in circulation, cells, and tissues. A recent series of papers have addressed these associations in the context of ancestry; evidence clearly supports that the associations are robust to ethnicity. However, ~80 % of African Americans carry two copies of the alleles associated with increased levels of arachidonic acid compared with only ~45 % of European Americans, raising important questions of whether gene-PUFA interactions induced by a modern western diet are differentially driving the risk of diseases of inflammation in diverse populations, and are these interactions leading to health disparities. We highlight an important aspect thus far missing in the debate regarding dietary recommendations; we contend that current evidence from genetics strongly suggest that an individual’s, or at the very least the population from which an individual is sampled, genetic architecture must be factored into dietary recommendations currently in place.
KeywordsPolyunsaturated fatty acids Nutrition Genetic variants Fatty acid desaturase Single nucleotide polymorphisms Arachidonic acid Eicosanoids Inflammation Cardiovascular disease
Dihomo γ-linolenic acid
Coronary artery disease
Genome wide association study
Modern western diet
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
Polyunsaturated fatty acid
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