CPHG Manichaikul Lab’s Study Reveals American Indigenous Ancestry Raises Hispanics’ Risk for OMEGA-3 Deficiency

August 26, 2021 by   |   Leave a Comment

Hispanic people with a high percentage of American Indigenous ancestry are at increased risk of a nutritional deficiency that could affect their heart health and contribute to harmful inflammation, new research suggests.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and their collaborators have linked American Indigenous ancestry with increased risk of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency among Hispanic Americans. Found in foods such as fatty fish and certain nuts, omega-3s are thought to be important in preventing heart disease and play an important role in the immune system.

Doctors can use the new findings, the researchers say, to identify Hispanic patients at risk of omega-3 deficiency and to help them correct the problem with nutritional guidance or supplements. This could help the patients avoid heart problems and other health issues down the road.

“Our research provides a path toward precision nutrition in which dietary recommendations can be tailored to an individual’s genetic background,” said researcher Ani Manichaikul, of UVA’s Center for Public Health Genomics and Department of Public Health Sciences.

Continue reading the full UVAToday article.

Findings Published

The researchers have published their findings in the scientific journal Communications Biology. The research team consisted of Chaojie Yang, Brian Hallmark, Jin Choul Chai, Timothy D. O’Connor, Lindsay M. Reynolds, Alexis C. Wood, Michael Seeds, Yii-Der Ida Chen, Lyn M. Steffen, Michael Y. Tsai, Robert C. Kaplan, Martha L. Daviglus, Lawrence J. Mandarino, Amanda M. Fretts, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, Dawn K. Coletta, Sarah A. Blomquist, Laurel M. Johnstone, Chandra Tontsch, Qibin Qi, Ingo Ruczinski, Stephen S. Rich, Rasika A. Mathias, Floyd H. Chilton and Manichaikul. Chilton is a co-founder of Tyrian Omega Inc., a startup seeking to engineer cyanobacteria to make omega-3 fatty acids for animals, farmed fish and poultry, and, potentially later, for humans.

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