GWAS of 165,084 Japanese individuals identified nine loci associated with dietary habits

Nat Hum Behav. 2020 Mar;4(3):308-316. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0805-1. Epub 2020 Jan 20.


Dietary habits are important factors in our lifestyle, and confer both susceptibility to and protection from a variety of human diseases. We performed genome-wide association studies for 13 dietary habits including consumption of alcohol (ever versus never drinkers and drinks per week), beverages (coffee, green tea and milk) and foods (yoghurt, cheese, natto, tofu, fish, small whole fish, vegetables and meat) in Japanese individuals (n = 58,610-165,084) collected by BioBank Japan, the nationwide hospital-based genome cohort. Significant associations were found in nine genetic loci (MCL1-ENSA, GCKR, AGR3-AHR, ADH1B, ALDH1B1, ALDH1A1, ALDH2, CYP1A2-CSK and ADORA2A-AS1) for 13 dietary traits (P < 3.8 × 10-9). Of these, ten associations between five loci and eight traits were new findings. Furthermore, a phenome-wide association study revealed that five of the dietary trait-associated loci have pleiotropic effects on multiple human complex diseases and clinical measurements. Our findings provide new insight into the genetics of habitual consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / genetics
  • Beverages*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Drinking Behavior*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food*
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Pleiotropy / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Japan