People Genetically Predisposed to Heart Disease May Benefit From Omega-3 Biomarkers: Study


For the first time, new research shows the role of adiponectin, an obesity-related biomarker, in the relationship between a genetic variation called omentin and cardiometabolic health. The study was recently published in PLOS ONE.

The research team found that a specific genetic risk in the omentin gene is linked to low levels of adiponectin, which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research can also show why certain lifestyle factors, such as eating fatty fish and getting regular exercise, are important in distracting the risk of heart disease. Professor Vimal Karani, who led the study, told NutraIngredients-USA that a good understanding of this genetic risk will help improve adiponectin levels through dietary changes and prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

Study details

The genetic study included 1,886 Asian Indians who were assessed and assessed using a range of cardiovascular measures such as BMI, fasting blood sugar, and cholesterol. More than 80% of the participants were considered to be cardiometabolically unhealthy.

“We studied Asian Indian populations at particular genetic risk for developing heart disease and found that the majority of our participants were already cardiometabolically unhealthy. However, the genetic variation of omentin we studied is widespread in different ethnic groups and.” needs more work See if omentin plays a role in heart disease risk in other groups, ”said Karani, professor of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics at the University of Reading.


The researchers observed that the role of adiponectin was related to markers of cardiovascular disease that were independent of common and central obesity in the Asian Indian population, even after adjusting for factors normally associated with heart disease.

“What we can clearly see from the observations is that there is a three-step process in which the difference in the omentin gene contributes to the low biomarker adiponectin, which in turn appears to be linked to poorer outcomes and the risk of heart disease.” Karani noted, “The omentin gene itself produces a protein in the body that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects, and variations in the omentin gene have previously been linked to cardiometabolic disorders. The results suggest that people may develop cardiometabolic disorders due to this specific omentin genetic risk if they have low levels of the biomarker adiponectin. “

The adiponectin-omega-3 cardiovascular disease triangle

“Several randomized controlled trials have shown that a decrease in markers of inflammation and an increase in adiponectin release from fat cells were associated with omega-3 supplementation. One of the plausible mechanisms could be the PPARG signaling pathway. PPARG (Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma) is a molecule that regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. Omega-3 fatty acids, as natural ligands for PPARG, have been shown to increase adiponectin levels, ”Karani explained. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be effective in stimulating the PPARG-dependent release of adiponectin from fat cells. Given that PPARG is a critical regulator of lipid metabolism, omega-3 supplementation is required to increase adiponectin levels and prevent dyslipidemia, an established risk factor for heart disease. “

Still for debate

Karani told us that there is controversy surrounding the use of omega-3 supplements, with some studies showing the use of fish oils as a remedy for heart disease, while others have shown that omega-3 increases the risk of heart disease.

“Our study showed that those who are genetically at risk for low adiponectin levels, an omega-3 associated biomarker, are at higher risk for cardiometabolic disease. We therefore believe that those with the specific genetic risk in the omentin gene could benefit from omega-3 supplementation. This suggests that manufacturers of omega-3 dietary supplements may partner with the genetic testing centers to offer genotype-based personalized nutritional services. However, genotype-based dietary intervention studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis before such therapeutic strategies can be implemented, ”said Karani.

With this in mind, the lead researcher at GeNuIne (Gene-Nutrient Interactions) Collaboration plans further research to investigate the effects of genetic risk and food intake on heart disease in different ethnic groups.

“As a next step, I plan to replicate this finding in other ethnic groups to see if these results can be transferred to other populations,” said Karani. “In addition, I would like to investigate whether genotype-based nutritional interventions can be implemented to prevent heart disease in several ethnic groups.”

Source: PLOS ONE

“Circulating adiponectin mediates the link between omentin gene polymorphism and cardiometabolic health in Asian Indians.”

Authors: V. Karani et al.


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