Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
fatty acids, omega-3, alpha linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, inflammatory biomarkers, cardiovascular disease
Numerous genetic loci have been identified as being associated with circulating fatty acid (FA) levels and/or inflammatory biomarkers of cardiovascular health (e.g., C-reactive protein). Recently, using red blood cell (RBC) FA data from the Framingham Offspring Study, we conducted a genome-wide association study of over 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 22 RBC FAs (and associated ratios), including the four Omega-3 FAs (ALA, DHA, DPA, and EPA). Our analyses identified numerous causal loci. In this manuscript, we investigate the extent to which polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels moderate the relationship of genetics to cardiovascular health biomarkers using a genome-wide interaction study approach. In particular, we test for possible gene–FA interactions on 9 inflammatory biomarkers, with 2.5 million SNPs and 12 FAs, including all Omega-3 PUFAs. We identified eighteen novel loci, including loci which demonstrate strong evidence of modifying the impact of heritable genetics on biomarker levels, and subsequently cardiovascular health. The identified genes provide increased clarity on the biological functioning and role of Omega-3 PUFAs, as well as other common fatty acids, in cardiovascular health, and suggest numerous candidate loci for future replication and biological characterization.
Source Publication Title
Veenstra, J., Kalsbeek, A., Westra, J., Disselkoen, C., Smith, C. E., & Tintle, N. L. (2017). Genome-Wide Interaction Study of Omega-3 PUFAs and Other Fatty Acids on Inflammatory Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Health in the Framingham Heart Study. Nutrients, 9 (8), 900. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080900