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Diabetologia. 2012 Oct;55(10):2646-2654. doi: 10.1007/s00125-012-2634-x. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

Role of TCF7L2 risk variant and dietary fibre intake on incident type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Lund University, Clinical Research Center, Malmö, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Lund University, Clinical Research Center, Malmö, Sweden.
Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease, Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University Diabetes Centre, Lund University, Clinical Research Centre 91:12, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, 20502, Malmö, Sweden.



The T allele of transcription factor 7-like 2 gene variant, TCF7L2 rs7903146, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40-50%. As TCF7L2 rs7903146 has been associated with diminished incretin effect we investigated whether interaction between dietary intake of carbohydrate, fat, protein or fibre and this variant affects the risk of type 2 diabetes.


A cohort of 24,799 non-diabetic individuals from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS), with dietary data obtained by a modified diet history method, were followed up for 12 years, with 1,649 recordings of incident type 2 diabetes made. Risk of type 2 diabetes in strata of diet quintiles was analysed prospectively adjusting for potential confounders. Cross-sectional analyses were performed on baseline fasting glucose and HbA(1c) levels in a subset of 5,216 randomly selected individuals from the MDCS.


The elevated risk of type 2 diabetes with rs7903146 (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.33, 1.56, p = 4.6 × 10(-19)) increased with higher intake of dietary fibre (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.04, 1.47 to OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.31, 1.86 from the lowest to highest quintile; p (interaction) = 0.049). High intake of dietary fibre was inversely associated with diabetes incidence only among CC genotype carriers (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.58, 0.94 per quintile, p = 0.025). The T allele was associated with 0.027% elevated HbA(1c) (p = 0.02) and this effect increased with higher intake of fibre (from -0.021% to 0.079% for the lowest to the highest quintile, p (interaction) = 0.02). Each quintile of higher fibre intake was associated with lower HbA(1c) levels among CC and CT but not among TT genotype carriers (-0.036%, p = 6.5 × 10(-7); -0.023%, p = 0.009; and 0.012%, p = 0.52, respectively).


Our study suggests that dietary fibre intake may modify the association between TCF7L2 rs7903146 and incidence of type 2 diabetes, and that higher fibre intake may associate with protection from type 2 diabetes only among non-risk allele carriers.

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