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  • Wolters, Maike; Dering, Carmen; Siani, Alfonso; Russo, Paola; Kaprio, Jaakko; Rise, Patrizia; Moreno, Luis A.; De Henauw, Stefaan; Mehlig, Kirsten; Veidebaum, Toomas; Molnar, Denes; Tornaritis, Michael; Iacoviello, Licia; Pitsiladis, Yannis; Galli, Claudio; Foraita, Ronja; Bornhorst, Claudia; IDEFICS; I Family Consortia (2017)
    Background The recent obesity epidemic in children also showed an increase in the prevalence of hypertension. As blood pressure (BP) is associated with (long-chain) polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC PUFA), genetic variation in desaturase enzymes being involved in the synthesis of LC PUFA may be associated with BP. This study aimed to investigate the direct effects (independent of mediating variables) and indirect effects (mediated through intermediate variables) of a common variant in the FADS1 gene, rs174546, known to affect delta-5 desaturase (D5D) activity on PUFA level, body mass index (BMI) and BP. Methods A subsample of the IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants) baseline survey including 520 children aged 2 to Results Minor allele carriers of the SNP rs174546 had significantly higher DGLA and lower ARA and EPA levels as well as a lower D5D index. Via ARA and BMI z-score, the polymorphism had an indirect lowering effect on systolic BP z-score for each additional T allele (standardized effect estimate -0.057, p = 0.007). For DGLA, EPA and D5D index, the indirect effects of rs174546 on systolic BP were also negative but did not reach significance. DGLA and EPA had an increasing indirect effect on systolic BP via BMI. Results for diastolic BP were in general similar but effect estimates were lower compared to systolic BP. Conclusion Genetic variation in FADS1 influences BP via ARA and BMI indicating a favorable effect of the minor allele in SNP rs174546. Thus, polymorphisms with an impact on the D5D activity may play a role for the BP level mediated through PUFA and BMI. Therefore, health effects of dietary n-6 and n-3 PUFA may vary depending on genetic FADS1 variants.