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The impact of MTHFR 677C -> T risk knowledge on changes in folate intake: findings from the Food4Me study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carlos Celis Morales, Professor John Mathers, Professor Lorraine Brennan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: It is hypothesised that individuals with knowledge of their genetic risk are more likely to make health-promoting dietary and lifestyle changes. The present study aims to test this hypothesis using data from the Food4Me study. This was a 6-month Internet-based randomised controlled trial conducted across seven centres in Europe where individuals received either general healthy eating advice or varying levels of personalised nutrition advice. Participants who received genotype-based personalised advice were informed whether they had the risk (CT/TT) (n = 178) or non-risk (CC) (n = 141) alleles of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in relation to cardiovascular health and the importance of a sufficient intake of folate. General linear model analysis was used to assess changes in folate intake between the MTHFR risk, MTHFR non-risk and control groups from baseline to month 6 of the intervention.Results: There were no differences between the groups for age, gender or BMI. However, there was a significant difference in country distribution between the groups (p = 0.010). Baseline folate intakes were 412 +/- 172, 391 +/- 190 and 410 +/- 186 mu g per 10 MJ for the risk, non-risk and control groups, respectively. There were no significant differences between the three groups in terms of changes in folate intakes from baseline to month 6. Similarly, there were no changes in reported intake of food groups high in folate.Conclusions: These results suggest that knowledge of MTHFR 677C -> T genotype did not improve folate intake in participants with the risk variant compared with those with the non-risk variant.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Donovan CB, Walsh MC, Forster H, Woolhead C, Celis-Morales C, Fallaize R, Macready AL, Marsaux CFM, Navas-Carretero S, San-Cristobal R, Kolossa S, Mavrogianni C, Lambrinou CP, Moschonis G, Godlewska M, Surwillo A, Bouwman J, Grimaldi K, Traczyk I, Drevon CA, Daniel H, Manios Y, Martinez JA, Saris WHM, Lovegrove JA, Mathers JC, Gibney MJ, Brennan L, Gibney ER

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Genes & Nutrition

Year: 2016

Volume: 11

Online publication date: 29/09/2016

Acceptance date: 03/08/2016

Date deposited: 03/01/2017

ISSN (electronic): 1865-3499

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/s12263-016-0539-x


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Funder referenceFunder name
265494European Commission