Differences in individual eating habits may be influenced by genetic factors, in addition to cultural, social, or environmental factors. Previous studies suggested that genetic variants within sweet taste receptor genes family were associated with sweet taste perception and the intake of sweet foods. The aim of this study was to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to find genetic variations that affect confection consumption in a Japanese population. We analyzed GWAS data on sweets consumption using 14,073 participants from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort study. We used a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to estimate food intake that was validated previously. Association of the imputed variants with sweets consumption was performed by linear regression analysis with adjustments for age, sex, total energy intake and principal component analysis components 1 to 3. Furthermore, the analysis was repeated adjusting for alcohol intake (g/day) in addition to the above-described variables. We found 418 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in 12q24 that were associated with sweets consumption. SNPs with the 10 lowest P-values were located on nine genes including at the BRAP, ACAD10, and ALDH2 regions on 12q24.12-13. After adjustment for alcohol intake, no variant was associated with sweets intake with genome-wide significance. In conclusion, we found a significant number of SNPs located on 12q24 genes that were associated with sweets intake before adjustment for alcohol intake. However, all of them lost statistical significance after adjustment for alcohol intake.
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