Mushroom intolerance: a novel diet-gene interaction in Crohn's disease

Br J Nutr. 2009 Aug;102(4):506-8. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509276446.


Carrying a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (L503F, c. 1672 C>T) in the gene for the Na-dependent organic cation transporter (OCTN1), increases the risk of Crohn's disease (CD) in some, but not all, populations. Case-control data on New Zealand Caucasians show no differences for CD risk between individuals carrying the L503F OCTN1 C-allele when compared with those carrying the variant T-allele. However, more of the New Zealand CD cases report intolerance to maize and mushrooms than those who report beneficial effects or no differences. The OCTN1 gene encodes a transporter for ergothionine, a fungal metabolite at high levels in mushrooms but not widely common in other dietary items. An inability to tolerate mushrooms showed statistically significant associations with the variant OCTN1 genotype. That is, among those individuals reporting adverse effects from mushrooms, there was a higher frequency of the variant T-allele when compared with the general population, or with CD patients overall. We believe that this is a novel gene-diet association, suggesting that individuals carrying the OCTN1 variant single nucleotide polymorphism may have an enhanced risk of adverse symptoms associated with consuming mushrooms. Nutrigenomic approaches to dietary recommendations may be appropriate in this group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales*
  • Alleles*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Crohn Disease / genetics*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Symporters
  • White People / genetics
  • Zea mays


  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins
  • SLC22A4 protein, human
  • Symporters