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FADS cluster variants are associated with insulin sensitivity in children and adolescents with overweight and obesity


Changes in the desaturation activity of LC-PUFAs may influence insulin sensitivity by modulating the relative abundance of omega-3. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the association between genetic variants of fatty acid desaturase cluster genes (FADS1, FADS2, FADS3) and insulin sensitivity in a cohort of children and adolescents with obesity. Anthropometric evaluation, lipid profile, glucose metabolism parameters and the genotype of rs1535 on FADS2 gene were assessed. In 162 obese children and adolescents (12.6 ± 2.3 years; BMI 30.9 ± 7.3), we found a significant association between an index of insulin sensitivity, i.e., Matsuda index, and rs1535 (B = −0,192; p = 0.008), BMI (B = −0,003; p < 0.001), and triglycerides (B = −0,034; p < 0.001), independent of age and sex [R² = 0.35; p = <0.001]. In conclusion, FADS cluster variants were associated with insulin sensitivity in a population of children and adolescents with obesity, contributing to identify individuals who may benefit from personalised prevention and treatment nutritional strategies since childhood.

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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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The study was funded by the University of Verona, Verona, Italy (grant name: FURMAFF).

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Authors and Affiliations



AMa, CZ, MC and EF researched and analysed data; AMa, CZ, and FE wrote the manuscript. AMo and CM edited the manuscript and provided substantial contribution to the overall discussion. CM is the guarantor of this work and takes responsibility for the integrity and the accuracy of the data analysis.

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Correspondence to Alice Maguolo.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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The Institutional Ethics Committee of Verona (Italy) approved the protocol. Informed consent was obtained from the children and their parents.

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Maguolo, A., Zusi, C., Corradi, M. et al. FADS cluster variants are associated with insulin sensitivity in children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. Eur J Clin Nutr (2022).

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