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ELOVL2 gene polymorphisms are associated with increases in plasma eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid proportions after fish oil supplement

AlSaleh, Aseel, Maniou, Zoitsa, Lewis, Fiona J., Hall, Wendy L., Sanders, Thomas A. B., O’Dell, Sandra D.
Genes & nutrition 2014 v.9 no.1 pp. 362
alleles, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, fish oils, genetic variation, genotype, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, olive oil, omega-3 fatty acids, single nucleotide polymorphism
Fish oil supplementation provides an inconsistent degree of protection from cardiovascular disease (CVD), which may be attributed to genetic variation. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the elongation-of-very-long-chain-fatty-acids-2 (ELOVL2) gene have been strongly associated with plasma proportions of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA). We investigated the effect of genotype interaction with fish oil dosage on plasma n-3 LC-PUFA proportions in a parallel double-blind controlled trial, involving 367 subjects randomised to treatment with 0.45, 0.9 and 1.8 g/day eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (1.51:1) or olive oil placebo for 6 months. We genotyped 310 subjects for ELOVL2 gene SNPs rs3734398, rs2236212 and rs953413. At baseline, carriers of all minor alleles had lower proportions of plasma DHA than non-carriers (P = 0.021–0.030). Interaction between genotype and treatment was a significant determinant of plasma EPA (P < 0.0001) and DHA (P = 0.004–0.032). After the 1.8 g/day dose, carriers of ELOVL2 SNP minor alleles had approximately 30 % higher proportions of EPA (P = 0.002–0.004) and 9 % higher DHA (P = 0.013–0.017) than non-carriers. Minor allele carriers could therefore particularly benefit from a high intake of EPA and DHA in maintaining high levels of plasma n-3 PUFA conducive to protection from CVD.