Current Nutrition Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 139–148

Genetic Variants in the FADS Gene: Implications for Dietary Recommendations for Fatty Acid Intake

  • Rasika A. Mathias
  • Vrindarani Pani
  • Floyd H. Chilton
Cardiovascular Disease (JH Goedecke, Section Editor)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Polyunsaturated fatty acids Nutrition Genetic variants Fatty acid desaturase Single nucleotide polymorphisms Arachidonic acid Eicosanoids Inflammation Cardiovascular disease 

Abbreviations

ALA

α-linolenic acid

ARA

Arachidonic acid

COX

Cyclooxygenase

DGLA

Dihomo γ-linolenic acid

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

ETA

Eicosatetraenoic acid

CAD

Coronary artery disease

CVD

Cardiovascular disease

GLA

γ-linolenic acid

GWAS

Genome wide association study

IMT

Intima-media thickness

LA

Linoleic acid

Lc

Long chain

LD

Linkage disequilibrium

LTB4

Leukotriene B4

C18

18 carbon

MWD

Modern western diet

NSAID

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug

PC

Phosphatidylcholine

PE

Phosphatidylethanolamine

PI

Phosphatidylinositol

PS

Phosphatidylserine

PLA2

Phospholipase A2

PUFA

Polyunsaturated fatty acid

SDA

Stearidonic acid

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rasika A. Mathias
    • 1
  • Vrindarani Pani
    • 1
  • Floyd H. Chilton
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.The Center for Botanical Lipids and Inflammatory Disease PreventionWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physiology/PharmacologyWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  4. 4.Molecular Medicine and Translational SciencesWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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