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Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on the dietary habits of the Japanese population have shown that an effect rs671 allele was inversely associated with fish consumption, whereas it was directly associated with coffee consumption. Although meat is a major source of protein and fat in the diet, whether genetic factors that influence meat-eating habits in healthy populations are unknown. This study aimed to conduct a GWAS to find genetic variations that affect meat consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data using 14 076 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) study. We used a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with total meat consumption per 1000 kcal energy was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, and principal component analysis components 1–10. We found that no genetic variant, including rs671, was associated with meat consumption. The previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated with meat consumption in samples of European ancestry could not be replicated in our J-MICC data. In conclusion, significant genetic factors that affect meat consumption were not observed in a Japanese population.
Differences in individual eating habits may be influenced by genetic factors, in addition to cultural, social or environmental factors. Previous studies suggested that genetic variants within sweet taste receptor genes family were associated with sweet taste perception and the intake of sweet foods. The aim of this study was to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to find genetic variations that affect confection consumption in a Japanese population. We analysed GWAS data on confection consumption using 14 073 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort study. We used a semi-quantitative FFQ to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with confection consumption was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, total energy intake and principal component analysis components 1–3. Furthermore, the analysis was repeated adjusting for alcohol intake (g/d) in addition to the above-described variables. We found 418 SNP located in 12q24 that were associated with confection consumption. SNP with the ten lowest P-values were located on nine genes including at the BRAP, ACAD10 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 regions on 12q24.12-13. After adjustment for alcohol intake, no variant was associated with confections intake with genome-wide significance. In conclusion, we found a significant number of SNP located on 12q24 genes that were associated with confections intake before adjustment for alcohol intake. However, all of them lost statistical significance after adjustment for alcohol intake.
Equol, a metabolite of the dietary isoflavone daidzein, is produced by the action of gut bacteria in some individuals who are termed as equol-producers. It is proposed to have stronger atheroprotective properties than dietary isoflavones. We examined a cross-sectional association of dietary isoflavones and equol-producer status with coronary artery calcification (CAC), a biomarker of coronary atherosclerosis, among men in Japan. A population-based sample of 272 Japanese men aged 40–49 years recruited from 2004 to 2007 was examined for serum isoflavones, serum equol, CAC and other factors. Equol-producers were classified as individuals having a serum level of equol >83 nm. The presence of CAC was defined as a coronary Ca score ≥10 Agatston units. The associations of dietary isoflavones and equol-producers with CAC were analysed using multiple logistic regression. The median of dietary isoflavones, equol and CAC were 512·7 (interquartile range (IQR) 194·1, 1170·0), 9·1 (IQR 0·10, 33·1) and 0·0 (IQR 0·0, 1·0) nm, respectively. Prevalence of CAC and equol-producers was 9·6 and 16·0 %, respectively. Dietary isoflavones were not significantly associated with CAC. After multivariable adjustment, the OR for the presence of CAC in equol-producers compared with equol non-producers was 0·10 (95 % CI 0·01, 0·90, P<0·04). Equol-producers had significantly lower CAC than equol non-producers, but there was no significant association between dietary isoflavones and CAC, suggesting that equol may be a key factor for atheroprotective properties of isoflavones in Japanese men. This finding must be confirmed in larger studies or clinical trials of equol that is now available as a dietary supplement.
Recent studies suggest that the ability to produce equol, a metabolite of the soya isoflavone daidzein, is beneficial to coronary health. Equol, generated by bacterial action on isoflavones in the human gut, is biologically more potent than dietary sources of isoflavones. Not all humans are equol producers. We investigated whether equol-producing status is favourably associated with risk factors for CHD following an intervention by dietary soya isoflavones. We systematically reviewed randomised controlled trials (RCT) that evaluated the effect of soya isoflavones on risk factors for CHD and that reported equol-producing status. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Ovid Medline and the Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials published up to April 2015 and hand-searched bibliographies to identify the RCT. Characteristics of participants and outcomes measurements were extracted and qualitatively analysed. From a total of 1671 studies, we identified forty-two articles that satisfied our search criteria. The effects of equol on risk factors for CHD were mainly based on secondary analyses in these studies, thus with inadequate statistical power. Although fourteen out of the forty-two studies found that equol production after a soya isoflavone intervention significantly improved a range of risk factors including cholesterol and other lipids, inflammation and blood pressure variables, these results need further verification by sufficiently powered studies. The other twenty-eight studies primarily reported null results. RCT of equol, which has recently become available as a dietary supplement, on CHD and its risk factors are awaited.
Long-term safety of consuming low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) in Asian populations, whose carbohydrate intake is relatively high, is not known. In the present study, the association of LCD with CVD and total mortality was assessed using data obtained in the NIPPON DATA80 (National Integrated Project for Prospective Observation of Non-communicable Disease and Its Trends in the Aged 1980) during 29 years of follow-up. At baseline in 1980, data were collected from study participants aged ≥ 30 years from randomly selected areas in Japan. LCD scores were calculated based on the percentage of energy as carbohydrate, fat and protein, estimated by 3 d weighed food records. A total of 9200 participants (56 % women, mean age 51 years) were followed up. During the follow-up, 1171 CVD deaths (52 % in women) and 3443 total deaths (48 % in women) occurred. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for CVD mortality using the Cox model comparing the highest v. lowest deciles of LCD score was 0·60 (95 % CI 0·38, 0·94; Ptrend= 0·021) for women and 0·78 (95 % CI 0·58, 1·05; Ptrend= 0·079) for women and men combined; the HR for total mortality was 0·74 (95 % CI 0·57, 0·95; Ptrend= 0·029) for women and 0·87 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·02; Ptrend= 0·090) for women and men combined. None of the associations was statistically significant in men. No differential effects of animal-based and plant–fish-based LCD were observed. In conclusions, moderate diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein and fat are significantly inversely associated with CVD and total mortality in women.
Epidemiological studies suggested that n-6 fatty acids, especially linoleic acid (LA), have beneficial effects on CHD, whereas some in vitro studies have suggested that n-6 fatty acids, specifically arachidonic acid (AA), may have harmful effects. We examined the association of serum n-6 fatty acids with plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). A population-based cross-sectional study recruited 926 randomly selected men aged 40–49 years without CVD during 2002–2006 (310 Caucasian, 313 Japanese and 303 Japanese-American men). Plasma PAI-1 was analysed in free form, both active and latent. Serum fatty acids were measured with gas-capillary liquid chromatography. To examine the association between total n-6 fatty acids (including LA and AA) and PAI-1, multivariate regression models were used. After adjusting for confounders, total n-6 fatty acids, LA and AA, were inversely and significantly associated with PAI-1 levels. These associations were consistent across three populations. Among 915 middle-aged men, serum n-6 fatty acids had significant inverse associations with PAI-1.
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