Interaction between BMI and APOE genotype is associated with changes in the plasma long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid response to a fish oil supplement in healthy participants: Plasma FA response to DHA in APOE4 carriers

Raphael Chouinard-Watkins, Valerie Conway, Anne-Marie Minihane, Kim Jackson, Julie Lovegrove, Melaine Plourde

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42 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Carriers of the apolipoprotein E4 allele (APOE4) are lower responders to a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplement compared to the non-carriers. This could be exacerbated in overweight individuals since DHA metabolism changes according to BMI.
Objective: To evaluate the plasma fatty acid (FA) response to a DHA-rich supplement in APOE4 carriers and non-carriers consuming a high saturated fat (HSF) diet and to evaluate whether being overweight changes this response.
Design: This study is part of the SATgen trial. Forty one APOE4 carriers and 41 non-carriers were prospectively recruited and consumed a HSF diet for 8-wk followed by 8-wk on a HSF diet with 3.45 g/d of DHA (HSF + DHA). Fasting plasma samples were collected at the end of each intervention diet. Plasma total lipids (TL) were separated into free FA, neutral lipids (NL) and phospholipids (PL) by solid phase extraction and the FA profiles in each lipid class were quantified by gas chromatography.
Results: Since plasma FA response to the HSF + DHA diet was correlated with BMI in APOE4 carriers but not in non-carriers, two groups were formed according to the BMI median: low-BMI (<25.5 kg/m2) or high-BMI (≥25.5 kg/m2). In response to the HSF + DHA diet, there were significant BMI × genotype interactions for changes in plasma concentrations of arachidonic acid and DHA in PL and TL and of eicosapentaenoic acid in NL and TL (P ≤ 0.05). APOE4 carriers were lower plasma responders to the DHA supplement compared to the non-carriers but only in the high-BMI group.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that APOE genotype and BMI may be important variables that determine the plasma long chain polyunsaturated FA response to dietary fat manipulation. APOE4 carriers with a BMI ≥25.5 kg/m2 may need higher intakes of DHA for cardiovascular or other health benefits compared to the non-carriers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-513
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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