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Interactions between genetic factors that predict diabetes and dietary factors that ultimately impact on risk of diabetes

Qi, Lua,b; Liang, Junc

doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3283346cb6
Nutrition and metabolism: Edited by Paul Nestel and Ronald P. Mensink

Purpose of review The purpose of the present review is to summarize recent advances in investigations of interactions between established genetic and dietary risk factors for type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Recent findings Several studies reported that dietary factors related to carbohydrate quality and quantity, such as whole grains and glycemic load, might interact with transcription factor 7-like 2 variants in relation to T2D risk. The genetic predisposition defined by the combination of 10 established T2D risk alleles was found to modulate the association between Western dietary pattern (high intakes of red meat, processed meat, and low fiber) and T2D; a stronger association was observed in those with a high-risk genetic profile. Variants in genes HHEX, CDKN2A/2B, JAZF1, and IGF2BP2 were found to interact with prenatal nutrition in relation to T2D risk and glucose levels in later life.

Summary The available data provide preliminary support for the gene–diet interactions in determining T2D. However, most findings have yet to be validated. Future studies will need agreed standards of study design and statistical power, dietary measurement, analytical methods, and replication strategies.

aDepartment of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, USA

bChanning Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

cDepartment of Endocrinology, the Central Hospital of Xuzhou, Affiliated Hospital of Southeast University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence to Dr Lu Qi, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA Tel: +1 617 432 4116; fax: +1 617 432 2435; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.