Abstract

We recently reported that interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory marker associated with breast pathology and the development of breast cancer, decreases with diet intervention and weight loss in both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant obese women. Here, we tested whether an individual’s genotype at an IL6SNP, rs1800795, which has previously been associated with circulating IL-6 levels, contributes to changes in IL-6 levels or modifies the effect of diet composition on IL-6 in these women. We genotyped rs1800795 in overweight/obese women (N = 242) who were randomly assigned to a lower fat (20% energy), higher carbohydrate (65% energy) diet; a lower carbohydrate (45% energy), higher fat (35% energy) diet; or a walnut-rich (18% energy), higher fat (35% energy), lower carbohydrate (45% energy) diet in a 1-year weight loss intervention study of obesity-related biomarkers for breast cancer incidence and mortality. Plasma IL-6 levels were measured at baseline, 6 and 12 months. At baseline, individuals with a CC genotype had significantly lower IL-6 levels than individuals with either a GC or GG genotype (p < 0.03; 2.72 pg/mL vs. 2.04 pg/mL), but this result was not significant when body mass index (BMI) was accounted for; the CC genotype group had lower BMI (p = 0.03; 32.5 kg/m2 vs. 33.6 kg/m2). We did not observe a 2-way interaction of time*rs1800795 genotype or diet*rs1800795 genotype. Our findings provide evidence that rs1800795 is associated with IL-6 levels, but do not support a differential interaction effect of rs1800795 and diet composition or time on changes in circulating IL-6 levels. Diet intervention and weight loss are an important strategy for reducing plasma IL-6, a risk factor of breast cancer in women, regardless of their rs1800795 genotype.

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