METHODS: This cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate (i) the effect of FTO rs9930506 on obesity and related parameters and (ii) the influence of diet on the above association in Malaysian adults. In total, 79 obese and 99 nonobese Malaysian adults were recruited.
RESULTS: In comparison with Chinese and Malays, Indians had significantly higher waist circumference (P ≤ 0.001 and P = 0.016), waist-hip ratio (P = 0.001 and P < 0.001), body fat percentage (P = 0.001 and P = 0.042), fasting insulin (P = 0.001 and P = 0.001), homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (P = 0.001 and P = 0.001) and lower high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001), respectively. Indians consumed significantly lower dietary cholesterol (P = 0.002), percentage energy from protein (P < 0.001) and higher fibre (P = 0.006) compared to the other two groups. Malaysian Indians expressed the highest risk allele frequency (G) of FTO rs9930506 compared to the Malays and the Chinese (P < 0.001). No significant association was found between FTO rs9930506 and obesity (dominant model). Risk allele carriers (G) consumed significantly lower vitamin E (P = 0.020) and had a higher fibre intake (P = 0.034) compared to the noncarriers (A). Gene-diet interaction analysis revealed that risk allele carriers (G) had lower high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels with higher energy from protein (≥14% day-1 ; P = 0.049) and higher vitamin E (≥5.4 mg day-1 ; P = 0.038).
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of the risk allele (G) of FTO rs9930506 was not associated with an increased risk of obesity. Malaysian Indians had a significantly higher frequency of the risk allele (G). Indian participants expressed higher atherogenic phenotypes compared to Chinese and Malays. FTO rs9930506 may interact with dietary protein and vitamin E and modulate hsCRP levels.