FTO Genotype and 2-Year Change in Body Composition and Fat Distribution in Response to Weight-Loss Diets

The POUNDS LOST Trial

  1. Lu Qi1,5
  1. 1Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  2. 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and the Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  3. 3Epidemiology Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland
  4. 4Florida Hospital Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes, Orlando, Florida
  5. 5Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
  6. 6Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  1. Corresponding author: Lu Qi, nhlqi{at}channing.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that the fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) genotype may interact with dietary intakes in relation to adiposity. We tested the effect of FTO variant on weight loss in response to 2-year diet interventions. FTO rs1558902 was genotyped in 742 obese adults who were randomly assigned to one of four diets differing in the proportions of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Body composition and fat distribution were measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography. We found significant modification effects for intervention varying in dietary protein on 2-year changes in fat-free mass, whole body total percentage of fat mass, total adipose tissue mass, visceral adipose tissue mass, and superficial adipose tissue mass (for all interactions, P < 0.05). Carriers of the risk allele had a greater reduction in weight, body composition, and fat distribution in response to a high-protein diet, whereas an opposite genetic effect was observed on changes in fat distribution in response to a low-protein diet. Likewise, significant interaction patterns also were observed at 6 months. Our data suggest that a high-protein diet may be beneficial for weight loss and improvement of body composition and fat distribution in individuals with the risk allele of the FTO variant rs1558902.

Footnotes

  • Received December 20, 2011.
  • Accepted May 11, 2012.

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  1. Diabetes vol. 61 no. 11 3005-3011