Navigation Links
Ancestry plays vital role in nutrition and disease, study shows

WINSTON-SALEM, N. C., -- June 14, 2011 Over the past decade, much progress has been made regarding the understanding and promise of personalized medicine. Scientists are just beginning to consider the impact of gene-diet interactions in different populations in regards to disease prevention and treatment.

The latest research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the laboratories of Floyd H. "Ski" Chilton, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology and director of the Center for Botanical Lipids and Inflammatory Disease Prevention, and Rasika Mathias, Sc.D, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, reveals how humans of different ancestry process a certain type of fat called polyunsaturated (PUFA) fat.

Importantly, this work suggests that the dramatic increase in a particular type of fatty acid, omega-6 PUFAs, in the American diet, together with a genetic propensity, causes individuals of African descent to more efficiently convert these dietary PUFAs to long chain PUFAs in the human body. Long chain PUFA can then, in turn, be converted to inflammatory messengers. Increased inflammatory messengers have been associated with a variety of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, allergies and asthma, and diabetes.

The research, described in a manuscript that appears online this month in BMC Genetics, with upcoming publication in The British Journal of Nutrition, finds that populations of African descent have a much higher frequency of the gene variants associated with the conversion of dietary, medium chain omega-6 PUFAs to long chain omega-6 PUFAs that then have the potential to increase inflammation. Medium chain omega-6 PUFAs are found in the American diet in very high concentrations in margarine, vegetable oils, animal fats and processed foods.

"I believe observations such as this begin to address the critical question of why western diets seem to differentially impact African Americans with cardiovascular disease and diabetes at a higher rate than their Caucasian counterparts," said Chilton.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, accounting for 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S. These chronic diseases also limit daily living for about 25 million people.

Chilton and other groups of scientists have shown that genetic variation in a small region of chromosome 11, known as the FADS cluster, plays a critical role in determining rates of PUFA metabolism in populations of European and Asian ancestry.

The current studies are the first to look at populations of African ancestry. Chilton initially suspected there would be differences when he found that African Americans have much higher circulating levels of a long chain omega-6 PUFA, arachidonic acid (AA), than European Americans. The current research indicates there is a great deal of genetic difference between people of African and European ancestry regarding their ability to make long chain PUFAs. This is concerning, said Chilton, because over the last 75 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the consumption of medium chain omega-6 PUFAs -- from an estimated 2.8 percent to nearly 8 percent of daily calorie intake.

"This is an important example of why it is critical to advance the field of personalized nutrition," Chilton said. "Understanding which nutrients may be healthy for one population, but not for another will be essential to optimizing public health."

Dietary recommendations made by major health organizations are typically generalized to multiple populations, but are often based on available data from studies that represent one or two human populations. With regard to PUFAs, the American Heart Association currently recommends that Americans increase dietary PUFA levels to 5 to 10 percent of dietary energy. Studies like these suggest that such recommendations may not apply or be healthy for all populations.

"It is critical to study groups such as African Americans because they bear a large proportion of the public health burden of many of the chronic complex diseases of inflammation," Chilton said.


Contact: Bonnie Davis
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. No link between genetic ancestry, asthma response in African-Americans
2. Genetic Ancestry Data Improve Diagnosis in Asthma and Lung Disease
3. Jews Around the World Linked by Common Genetic Ancestry
4. Unemployment Plays Role in Early Deaths, Research Shows
5. New fusion gene plays role in some stomach cancers
6. UCLA study finds cholesterol regulator plays key role in development of liver scarring, cirrhosis
7. Researchers find brain insulin plays critical role in the development of diabetes
8. Parents Have Stronger Relationship When Dad Plays With Kids
9. For non-whites, geography plays key role in colon cancer screening
10. Protein involved in cystic fibrosis also plays role in emphysema, chronic lung disease
11. Age plays too big a role in prostate cancer treatment decisions
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast cancers found with MRI ... to a study published online in the journal Radiology. Researchers said that in ... a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the most sensitive technique for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... As part ... For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together who want to combine talents and resources ... key stakeholders in the process. The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser on ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The holiday season is jam-packed with family ... of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at home ... recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ,     Ingredients: ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Finnleo, ... through Christmas Eve on several models of traditional and far-infrared saunas. , ... Nordic Spruce is the most traditional Finnish sauna wood, and Finnleo uses only European ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one of the ... stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a finalist among ... was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater Cincinnati Best ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... global healthcare industry is expected to grow at a rate ... has the highest projected growth at 12.7%, and ... is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly 68%. Federal government ... 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket expenditure increased by ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... License Application (BLA) with the United States ... ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® ... biosimilar application submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s ... Sean E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: