It seems as though there are three types of people when it comes to eating seafood: those who refuse to eat it, those who enjoy eating it, or those that would choose to live only on delicacies from the sea if they could. But what exactly leads to these differences in fish appetite, and can your genes affect food preferences? New research suggests that there may be at least one gene that has a significant impact on how much fish a person consumes.
If you’ve ever looked into health or diet topics, you’ve probably heard that Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health, and that fish are a great source of these fatty acids. This association has been an important subject in the health world, with researchers evaluating every possible angle of fish consumption, Omega-3s, and well-being. Most recently, a research team in Japan conducted a meta-analysis (a type of study that includes the data from several studies) to evaluate the level of fish consumed and genetic variation in the 12q24 locus.
This specific gene region has previously been associated with metabolic traits, such as processing alcohol. For this publication, the rs11066015 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the 12q24 locus, unique to East Asian populations, was evaluated to determine whether it has an association with fish consumption. Researchers compared the questionnaire results about fish-eating habits with the genetic variation present in over 12,000 Japanese participants from direct-to-consumer genetic testing services.
Here is what they found: The amount of fish consumed was significantly decreased with each copy of the G allele present in the participants. They also found that these effects were exaggerated with age and alcohol consumption. This was the first major study conducted on a Japanese population regarding the 12q24 locus and fish intake, so more research is necessary to better understand this association. However, these results are intriguing and provide a stepping stone for future research. You can learn more about this research and check out all of the findings here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31320941
This trait has been added to your Genomelink dashboard, so you can login now to see how your genes might impact your appetite for fish.