Background: Transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) rs7903146 associates with type 2 diabetes and may operate via impaired glucagon-like peptide 1 secretion, which is stimulated more by fat than by carbohydrate ingestion.
Objective: The objective was to examine the interaction between TCF7L2 rs7903146 and dietary fat and carbohydrate [high-fat, low-carbohydrate: 40-45% of energy as fat (HF); compared with low-fat, high-carbohydrate: 20-25% of energy as fat (LF)] in obese individuals' responses to a 10-wk hypoenergetic diet (-600 kcal/d).
Design: European, obese participants (n = 771) were randomly assigned to receive an HF or an LF diet. Body weight, fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), waist circumference (WC), resting energy expenditure (REE), fasting fat oxidation in percentage of REE (FatOx), homeostasis model assessed insulin release (HOMA-beta), and HOMA-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were determined at baseline and after the intervention; 739 individuals were genotyped for rs7903146.
Results: Average weight loss was 6.9 kg with the LF and 6.6 kg with the HF (difference between diets, NS) diet. Among individuals who were homozygous for the T-risk allele, those in the HF diet group experienced smaller weight losses (Deltaweight) (2.6 kg; P = 0.009; n = 622), smaller DeltaFFM (1.6 kg; P = 0.027; n = 609), smaller DeltaWC (3.3 cm; P = 0.010; n = 608), and a smaller DeltaHOMA-IR (1.3 units; P = 0.004; n = 615) than did the LF diet group. For C allele carriers, there were no differences between the HF and LF diet groups. For the HF diet group, each additional T allele was associated with a reduced loss of FM (0.67 kg; P = 0.019; n = 609). TCF7L2 rs7903146 was not associated with DeltaREE, DeltaFatOx, DeltaHOMA-beta, or dropout.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that obese individuals who are homozygous for the TCF7L2 rs7903146 T-risk allele are more sensitive to LF than to HF weight-loss diets.