The benefits of fish oil can vary based on genotype

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Should You Use Fish Oil? It depends on your genotype, say researchers, as they have found that there are health benefits to ingesting fish oil only if you have the right genetic makeup.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Genetics, focused on fish oil (and the omega-3 fatty acids in it) and its effects on triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood and a biomarker of cardiovascular disease.

“We have known for several decades that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are linked to lower risk of heart disease,” said University of Georgia researcher Kaixiong Ye.

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Biomarkers for cardiovascular disease include high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Pixabay

“We have found that supplementing with fish oil is not good for everyone. it depends on your genotype. If you have a certain genetic background, a fish oil supplement will help lower your triglycerides. But if you don’t have the right genotype, taking a fish oil supplement will actually increase your triglycerides. “

For the study, the team looked at four blood lipids (fats) – high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, total cholesterol, and triglycerides – that are biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.

The data for their sample of 70,000 people comes from the UK Biobank, a large-scale cohort study that collected genetic and health information from half a million participants.

The team divided the sample into two groups: those who took fish oil supplements (approximately 11,000) and those who did not take fish oil supplements. They then performed a genome-wide scan for each group and tested 8 million genetic variants for comparison.

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After over 64 million tests, their results showed a significant genetic variant of the GJB2 gene.

People with the AG genotype who took fish oil decreased their triglycerides. Those with the AA genotype who ingested fish oil increased their triglycerides slightly. (A third possible genotype, GG, was not detectable in enough volunteer subjects to draw conclusions.) (IANS / KB)

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