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Genetic Variants Influencing Biomarkers of Nutrition Are Not Associated with Cognitive Capability in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Tamuno Alfred
  • Yoav Ben-Shlomo
  • Rachel Cooper
  • Rebecca Hardy
  • Ian J. Deary
  • Jane Elliott
  • Sarah E. Harris
  • Elina Hyppoenen
  • Mika Kivimaki
  • Meena Kumari
  • Jane Maddock
  • Chris Power
  • John M. Starr
  • Diana Kuh
  • Ian N. M. Day
  • HALCyon Study Team

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-612
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume143
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Abstract

Several investigations have observed positive associations between good nutritional status, as indicated by micronutrients, and cognitive measures; however, these associations may not be causal. Genetic polymorphisms that affect nutritional biomarkers may be useful for providing evidence for associations between micronutrients and cognitive measures. As part of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) program, men and women aged between 44 and 90 y from 6 UK cohorts were genotyped for polymorphisms associated with circulating concentrations of iron [rs4820268 transmembrane protease, serine 6 (TMPRSS6) and rs1800562 hemochromatosis (HFE)], vitamin B-12 [(rs492602 fucosyltransferase 2 (FUT2)], vitamin D ([rs2282679 group-specific component (GC)] and beta-carotene ([rs6564851 beta-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase 1 (BCMO1)]. Meta-analysis was used to pool within-study effects of the associations between these polymorphisms and the following measures of cognitive capability: word recall, phonemic fluency, semantic fluency, and search speed. Among the several statistical tests conducted, we found little evidence for associations. We found the minor allele of rs1800562 was associated with poorer word recall scores [pooled beta on Z-score for carriers vs. noncarriers: -0.05 (95% CI: -0.09, -0.004); P = 0.03, n = 14,105] and poorer word recall scores for the vitamin D-raising allele of rs2282679 [pooled beta per T allele: -0.03 (95% CI: -0.05, -0.003); P = 0.03, n = 16,527]. However, there was no evidence for other associations. Our findings provide little evidence to support associations between these genotypes and cognitive capability in older adults. Further investigations are required to elucidate whether the previous positive associations from observational studies between circulating measures of these micronutrients and cognitive performance are due to confounding and reverse causality. J. Nutr. 143: 606-612, 2013.

    Research areas

  • GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION, VITAMIN-D, COHORT PROFILE, SERUM IRON, COMMON VARIANTS, POPULATION, MORTALITY, DECLINE, BRAIN, METAANALYSIS

ID: 9874786