Free Shipping with Auto-Delivery &
Savings up to 20% with a Package Plan
1 888 433 4726
There's a growing interest in nutrigenomics - the study of how different foods may interact with specific genes to modify the risk of chronic diseases. The underlying premise is that the influence of diet on health is related to individuals' genetic or phenotypic make-up. The aim is to identify the bioactive molecules in the diet that affect health by altering gene expression. As with any emerging field, there are knowledge gaps to close and questions about whether testing and targeted nutrition therapy will be cost effective public health strategies. However knowledge is increasing.
For example, researchers are identifying genotypes that appear to put meat consumers more at risk for colorectal cancer (1), and finding genetic variations that may increase susceptibility to osteoporosis and require early intervention with calcium and other nutrients (2). We've also learned that a common polymorphism of one gene is linked to elevated homocysteine levels and increased risk of heart disease when folic acid intake is low (3,4).
Predicting Who Can Benefit from Vitamin E
Researchers from Israel's Institute of Technology are pursuing another line of inquiry. It's known that people vary in their phenotype of haptoglobin (Hp), a blood protein that attaches to free hemoglobin and is used clinically to assess the rate of red blood cells destruction. Hp is also an antioxidant protein that prevents hemoglobin-induced tissue oxidation. The Hp gene locus is polymorphic, and people can inherit one of 3 different haptoglobin types referred to as Hp 1:1, Hp 2:1 and Hp 2:2. These inherited variations appear to influence response to antioxidant therapy.
The Israeli team tested this hypothesis in the Women's Angiographic Vitamin and Estrogen Trial (WAVE), a prospective study that evaluated the effects of vitamins C and E with or without hormone replacement therapy in treating atherosclerosis in post-menopausal women - a study that failed to find any benefit in taking antioxidants. In analyzing data from this trial, the Israeli researchers found significant benefit of the vitamins in slowing coronary artery stenoses, but only in women with a certain haptoglobin type (5).
Vitamin E May Benefit Haptoglobin 2:2 Diabetics
Hp 2:2 is a very poor antioxidant compared to other Hp types, and Hp 2:2 appears to be predictive of heart disease in diabetics who tend to generate more free radicals. About 40% of diabetics are estimated to have the Hp 2:2 form. In the newest study, the team analyzed serum samples from the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial, another trial that showed no benefit for 400 IU vitamin E supplementation on cardiovascular risk in all patients. When analyzed by Hp type, those diabetics with Hp 2:2 who took vitamin E had an apparent 43% reduction in risk of heart attack.
Large Scale Trial Underway
According to the researchers at Technion, a large-scale, 5-year study of some 2000 diabetics with Hp 2:2 is being conducted. If this larger study confirms the results seen so far, vitamin E might represent a way to reduce the risk of CVD and heart attack in a significant proportion of diabetics. It may also help explain the disparity in results from antioxidant trials in recent years.
Other research teams have reported links between Hp 2:2 and refractory hypertension, risk of gestational diabetes and other disorders (7). If further research corroborates the predictive value of haptoglobin type, it may be a useful tool to identifying those who can benefit from targeted nutrition strategies.
Sign up to get nutrition news, health tips, and product updates.
Your information is never shared with third parties.
View Now >
Get $5 off your next order when you like our Facebook page
Innovative Nutraceuticals for Eye Health
This site chose VeriSign SSL
for secure e-commerce and
Call us Toll Free 1 888 433 4726. From Outside the US and Canada 281 885 7700
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.