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28-12-2011 | Genetics | Article

High dietary calcium intake may reduce metabolic syndrome risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: High calcium intake is associated with a decreased risk for the metabolic syndrome, report Korean researchers.

Furthermore, calcium intake appeared to modify the effects of three gene polymorphisms associated with risk for the condition.

"These findings may lead to an effective approach for reducing the risk of [the] metabolic syndrome through dietary therapy recommendations on the basis of individual genetic profiles," write Mi Kyung Kim (Hanyang University, Seoul) and co-investigators in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

To assess the association of dietary calcium intake with risk for the metabolic syndrome the team collected 12-month dietary data from 3846 men and 4185 women (aged 39-70 years) using a 103-item food frequency questionnaire. The metabolic syndrome was defined using a modified version of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel-III criteria.

The researchers found that dietary calcium intake was inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome risk in both men and women.

Specifically, men with high calcium intake (median 567.2 mg/day) were 23% less likely to develop the metabolic syndrome than men with low calcium intake (median 282.9 mg/day). Furthermore, men with high calcium intake were 28% less likely to have a high waist circumference and 24% less likely to have hypertriglyceridemia than those with low calcium intake.

For women, those with high calcium intake (median 628.7 mg/day) were 35% less likely to develop the metabolic syndrome than those with low calcium intake (median 287.6 mg/day). They were also 39%, 22%, 28%, and 32% less likely to have a high waist circumference, hypertriglyceridemia, high blood pressure, or high blood glucose, respectively.

To investigate the interaction effects between dietary calcium intake and candidate gene polymorphisms the researchers conducted a genome wide association analysis of 327,872 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Among 27 SNPs associated with the metabolic syndrome risk, three (rs6445834 in Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 3 [ARHGEF3], rs10850335 in T-box 5 (TBX5), and rs180349 in BUD13 homolog) showed significant interaction effects with calcium intake.

The researchers report that, generally, people homozygous for the major allele of these SNPs who had a high calcium intake had a lower risk for developing the metabolic syndrome when compared with those homozygous for the minor allele with a low calcium intake.

They conclude that gene-diet interaction studies will be needed to confirm these results.

By Nikki Withers

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