Healthy Diet And Heart Disease Gene
October 13, 2011 by staff
Healthy Diet And Heart Disease Gene, It may be true that we are pretty well stuck with the genes we were born. However, for people who carry a common genetic signature that predisposes to cardiovascular disease, seems to be a way to get around their DNA.
A couple of studies involving approximately 27,000 individuals have shown that people with the genetic abnormality may reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially those eaten raw or lightly cooked .
“Despite potentially having a family history of heart disease, or an implied warranty of increased genetic risk, you can actually turn off bad genes by adopting healthy eating habits,” said co-author Dr. Sonia Anand, the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University.
“And I think this is important because sometimes people feel that their family history and genes are not modifiable, so you just have to live with it,” Anand said Tuesday in Hamilton. “So this type of message that gives them that you can actually not supposed to change modifiable risk factors.”
Scientists have known for some time that genetic variants called region 9p21 is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease and is commonly found in different ethnic groups around the world.
In their study, published this week’s issue of PLoS Medicine, researchersanlyzed the effects of various types of diets in subjects from five ethnic groups – Europe, South Asia, China, Latin America and the Arab – both those who 9p21 variants lead and those who do not.
Their results suggest that individuals with genetic variation that ate a “prudent diet”, consisting mainly of vegetables, fruits and berries, had a similar risk of a heart attack than those with a low-risk genetic profile.
“We know that 9p21 genetic variants increase the risk of heart disease for those who carry it,” said Jamie Engert, cardiovascular genetics specialist at McGill University and principal investigator of joint research. “But it was a surprise to find that a healthy diet could significantly weaken their effect.”
This effect was observed in all ethnic groups except those of Arab descent, but may have been because the number of participants in this cohort was relatively small, Engert, said from Montreal.
“Everyone knows that a prudent diet helps prevent heart disease,” he said. “But the important part of our work was that it showed a specific gene variant that could be the reduction of susceptibility.”
Anand said he did not know how diet can overcome the power of DNA.
“However, the assumption that somehow, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and all good things are contained in them, somehow modifies the expression of this gene in particular,” he said.
“From a purely scientific standpoint, it is interesting to see the interaction and that future studies to understand the mechanism, because everyone is always looking for drug targets or some way to modify the expression of genes.”
Dr. Beth Abramson, a cardiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, who was not involved in the research, said that people with a close relative of the family who have experienced early heart disease, as a father or brother, has twice the risk of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular problems than the general population.
“What this study seems to suggest is that you should not give up if you have a family history or are at risk of heart disease due to a healthy life with a healthy diet, plus lifestyle changes such as exercise and maintaining a healthy weight, you can remove the risk that the genes that, “he said.
However, the advice to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables – 10 servings a day is recommended – it’s good for all, said Abramson, who is also spokeswoman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Your diet advice is not limited to stress consumption of fruits and vegetables, but also includes the maintenance of fat intake to a minimum.
While public health advocates have long been hammering the recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables, Anand suggests that only a minority of the population “has this advice seriously.”
Engert agreed, adding that such personal genomic testing becomes more accessible and common, those who learn they have this genetic predisposition to cardiovascular disease may be motivated to adopt the diet and behavior changes to reduce risk.
“That does not mean they will not have a heart disease,” he said, explaining that it is unlikely that multiple areas of DNA involved in the promotion of an individual’s likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke. “It just means that their greatest risk because they carry the susceptibility gene is no longer there.”
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