DNA double helix and fruits and vegetables on a wooden background


Genomic differences known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in genes involved in lipid metabolism may contribute importantly to health and influence disease risk.  In particular, growing research demonstrates that fatty acid desaturase genes (FADS 1,2 &3) are associated with human disease.  While most SNPs help explain a small percentage of a phenotype, FADS SNPs may contribute upwards of 30%.  Thus, these genes may help explain individual variability in response to diet and chronic disease risk.   We have shown that FADS SNPs are associated with variations observed in circulating blood levels of omega-6, omega-3 and conjugated linoleic acids which are linked to different ethnicities, gender and health risk factors.


Relevant publications from Ma Lab:

Abdelmagid SA, Clarke SE, Wong J, Roke K, Nielsen D, Badawi A, El-Sohemy A, Mutch DM, David WL Ma. Plasma concentration of cis9trans11 CLA in males and females is influenced by SCD1 genetic variations and hormonal contraceptives: a cross-sectional study. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Jul 18;10(1):50. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23866021

Roke K, Ralston JC, Abdelmagid S, Nielsen DE, Badawi A, El-Sohemy A, David WL Ma, Mutch DM. Variation in the FADS1/2 gene cluster alters plasma n-6 PUFA and is weakly associated with hsCRP levels in healthy young adults. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Jul 15. doi:pii: S0952-3278(13)00132-4. 10.1016/j.plefa.2013.06.003. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23867726

Ralston JC, Zulyniak MA, Nielsen DE, Clarke S, Badawi A, El-Sohemy A, David WL Ma, Mutch DM. Ethnic- and sex-specific associations between plasma fatty acids and markers of insulin resistance in healthy young adults. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Jun 17;10(1):42. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-10-42. PMID: 23773230

Zulyniak MA, Ralston JC, Tucker AJ, Mackay KA, Hillyer LM, McNicholas PD, Graham TE, Robinson LE, Duncan AM, David WL Ma, Mutch DM. Vaccenic acid in serum triglycerides is associated with markers of insulin resistance in men. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Oct;37(5):1003-7. doi: 10.1139/h2012-081. Epub 2012 Jun 21. PMID: 22720879

Stryjecki C, Roke K, Clarke S, Nielsen D, Badawi A, El-Sohemy A, David WL Ma, Mutch DM. Enzymatic activity and genetic variation in SCD1 modulate the relationship between fatty acids and inflammation. Mol Genet Metab. 2012 Mar;105(3):421-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2011.12.003. Epub 2011 Dec 13. PMID: 22209225

Diana M Merino, Holly Johnston, Shannon Clarke, Ahmed El-Sohemy, David WL Ma, and David M Mutch. Polymorphisms in fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes affect n-3 and n-6 fatty acid metabolism in a multiethnic population of young healthy adults. Mol Genet Metab. 2011 Jun;103(2):171-8. Epub 2011 Feb 23. PMID: 21414826.

Diana M Merino, David WL Ma and David M Mutch. Genetic variation in lipid desaturases and its impact on the development of human disease. Lipids in Health and Disease 2010, 9:63 (18 June 2010)  PMID: 20565855.