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Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 May 17. pii: ajcn144006. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.144006. [Epub ahead of print]

Genetics of serum carotenoid concentrations and their correlation with obesity-related traits in Mexican American children.

Author information

1
South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX.
2
Departments of Plant Science and.
3
Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, TX.
4
Departments of Medicine and.
5
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kannapolis, NC; and.
6
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
7
Pediatrics, University of Texas Health San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.
8
South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX; juv4@psu.edu ravindranath.duggirala@utrgv.edu.
9
Food Science and juv4@psu.edu ravindranath.duggirala@utrgv.edu.
10
Center for Molecular Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Penn State University, University Park, PA.

Abstract

Background: Dietary intake of phytonutrients present in fruits and vegetables, such as carotenoids, is associated with a lower risk of obesity and related traits, but the impact of genetic variation on these associations is poorly understood, especially in children.Objective: We estimated common genetic influences on serum carotenoid concentrations and obesity-related traits in Mexican American (MA) children.Design: Obesity-related data were obtained from 670 nondiabetic MA children, aged 6-17 y. Serum α- and β-carotenoid concentrations were measured in ∼570 (α-carotene in 565 and β-carotene in 572) of these children with the use of an ultraperformance liquid chromatography-photodiode array. We determined heritabilities for both carotenoids and examined their genetic relation with 10 obesity-related traits [body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, fat mass (FM), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting insulin and glucose, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance] by using family data and a variance components approach. For these analyses, carotenoid values were inverse normalized, and all traits were adjusted for significant covariate effects of age and sex.Results: Carotenoid concentrations were highly heritable and significant [α-carotene: heritability (h2) = 0.81, P = 6.7 × 10-11; β-carotene: h2 = 0.90, P = 3.5 × 10-15]. After adjusting for multiple comparisons, we found significant (P ≤ 0.05) negative phenotypic correlations between carotenoid concentrations and the following traits: BMI, WC, FM, and triglycerides (range: α-carotene = -0.19 to -0.12; β-carotene = -0.24 to -0.13) and positive correlations with HDL cholesterol (α-carotene = 0.17; β-carotene = 0.24). However, when the phenotypic correlations were partitioned into genetic and environmental correlations, we found marginally significant (P = 0.051) genetic correlations only between β-carotene and BMI (-0.27), WC (-0.30), and HDL cholesterol (0.31) after accounting for multiple comparisons. None of the environmental correlations were significant.Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that the serum carotenoid concentrations were under strong additive genetic influences based on variance components analyses, and that the common genetic factors may influence β-carotene and obesity and lipid traits in MA children.

KEYWORDS:

cardiometabolic traits; childhood obesity; common genetic influences; heritability; α-carotene; β-carotene

PMID:
28515064
DOI:
10.3945/ajcn.116.144006
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