Gene-diet interactions with polymorphisms of the MGLL gene on plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and size following an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation: a clinical trial

Lipids Health Dis. 2014 May 24:13:86. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-13-86.


Background: Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) consumption increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (C) concentrations and particle size. Studies showed that individuals with large, buoyant LDL particles have decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, a large inter-individual variability is observed in LDL particle size. Genetic factors may explain the variability of LDL-C concentrations and particle size after an n-3 PUFA supplementation. The monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) enzyme, encoded by the MGLL gene, plays an important role in lipid metabolism, especially lipoprotein metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate if polymorphisms (SNPs) of the MGLL gene influence the variability of LDL-C and LDL particle size in response to an n-3 PUFA supplementation.

Methods: 210 subjects completed the study. They consumed 5 g/d of a fish oil supplement (1.9-2.2 g eicosapentaenoic acid and 1.1 g docosaexaenoic acid) during 6 weeks. Plasma lipids were measured before and after the supplementation period and 18 SNPs of the MGLL gene, covering 100% of common genetic variations (minor allele frequency ≥0.05), have been genotyped using TaqMan technology (Life Technologies Inc., Burlington, ON, CA).

Results: Following the n-3 PUFA supplementation, 55% of subjects increased their LDL-C levels. In a model including the supplementation, genotype and supplementation*genotype effects, gene-diet interaction effects on LDL-C concentrations (rs782440, rs6776142, rs555183, rs6780384, rs6787155 and rs1466571) and LDL particle size (rs9877819 and rs13076593) were observed for the MGLL gene SNPs (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: SNPs within the MGLL gene may modulate plasma LDL-C levels and particle size following an n-3 PUFA supplementation. This trial was registered at as NCT01343342.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Male
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Monoacylglycerol Lipases

Associated data