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25-08-2009 | Cardiometabolic | Article

FABP2 gene variant increases metabolic risk after consuming saturated fat


Free abstract

MedWire News: A variant of the fatty acid binding protein 2 gene (FABP2) is associated with an adverse metabolic response to high intake of saturated fatty acids, report researchers.

The Ala54Thr polymorphism of FABP2 has been associated with dyslipidemia and insulin resistance in sedentary adults following a high-fat meal, say Pamela Schreiner (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA) and team.

They investigated cross sectional associations of the Ala54Thr genotype with lipid levels and insulin resistance in 2148 participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, who were followed-up for 20 years in total.

Writing in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, the researchers found that there were no significant differences in lipid levels or homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) between different Ala54Thr genotypes.

However, individuals who were carriers of the A allele of Ala54Thr who consumed a diet high in saturated fat (53.2 g/day or more; 90th percentile for the population) had significantly higher levels of insulin resistance, a lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol-to-total cholesterol ratio, and borderline statistically significantly higher levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides compared with those who ate a similar amount of saturated fat and were homozygous for the G allele.

Of note, A allele carriers who consumed lower levels of saturated fat did not have significantly different levels of insulin resistance or lipids compared with GG homozygotes.

“Given that individuals who are carriers of the A allele of FABP2 with high saturated fat intake have somewhat more adverse lipid levels and insulin resistance, it may be beneficial for these individuals to follow a low-fat diet,” conclude Schreiner et al.

“Therefore, limiting dietary intake of saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories, as recommended by the American Heart Association, may be particularly important among the large proportion of the population who are carriers of the A allele of FABP2.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2009

By Helen Albert