Genetic Variants in the FADS Gene: Implications for Dietary Recommendations for Fatty Acid Intake

Rasika A. Mathias, Vrindarani Pani, Floyd H. Chilton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Unequivocally, genetic variants within the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) cluster are determinants of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) levels in circulation, cells, and tissues. A recent series of papers have addressed these associations in the context of ancestry; evidence clearly supports that the associations are robust to ethnicity. However, ~80 % of African Americans carry two copies of the alleles associated with increased levels of arachidonic acid compared with only ~45 % of European Americans, raising important questions of whether gene-PUFA interactions induced by a modern western diet are differentially driving the risk of diseases of inflammation in diverse populations, and are these interactions leading to health disparities. We highlight an important aspect thus far missing in the debate regarding dietary recommendations; we contend that current evidence from genetics strongly suggest that an individual's, or at the very least the population from which an individual is sampled, genetic architecture must be factored into dietary recommendations currently in place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-148
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Eicosanoids
  • Fatty acid desaturase
  • Genetic variants
  • Inflammation
  • Nutrition
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic Variants in the FADS Gene: Implications for Dietary Recommendations for Fatty Acid Intake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this