Public Health Nutrition


Nutrigenetics: links between genetic background and response to Mediterranean-type diets

Denis Lairona1 c1, Catherine Defoorta1, Jean-Charles Martina1, Marie-Jo Amiot-Carlina1, Marguerite Gastaldia1 and Richard Planellsa1

a1 INRA, UMR1260 ‘Nutriments Lipidiques et Prévention des Maladies Métaboliques’, INSERM, U476, Univ Aix-Marseille 1, Univ Aix-Marseille 2, Faculté de Médecine, IPHM-IFR 125, Marseille, F-13385, France


Objective It has been substantiated that the onset of most major diseases (CVD, diabetes, obesity, cancers, etc.) is modulated by the interaction between genetic traits (susceptibility) and environmental factors, especially diet. We aim to report more specific observations relating the effects of Mediterranean-type diets on cardiovascular risk factors and the genetic background of subjects.

Results and conclusions In the first part, general concepts about nutrigenetics are briefly presented. Human genome has, overall, only marginally changed since its origin but it is thought that minor changes (polymorphisms) of common genes that occurred during evolution are now widespread in human populations, and can alter metabolic pathways and response to diets.

In the second part, we report the data obtained during the Medi-RIVAGE intervention study performed in the South-East of France. Data obtained in 169 subjects at moderate cardiovascular risk after a 3-month dietary intervention indicate that some of the twenty-three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) studied exhibit interactions with diets regarding changes of particular parameters after 3-month regimens. Detailed examples are presented, such as interactions between SNP in genes coding for microsomial transfer protein (MTTP) or intestinal fatty acid binding protein (FABP2) and triglyceride, LDL-cholesterol or Framigham score lowering in responses to Mediterranean-type diets.

The data provided add further evidence of the interaction between particular SNP and metabolic responses to diets. Finally, improvement in dietary recommendations by taking into account known genetic variability has been discussed.

(Received September 01 2008)

(Accepted April 01 2009)


c1 Corresponding author: Email