Citrus fruit intake is associated with lower serum bilirubin concentration among women with the UGT1A1*28 polymorphism.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Journal of nutrition, Volume 139, Issue 3, p.555-60 (2009)


2009, Adult, Bilirubin, Center-Authored Paper, Citrus, diet, Female, Food Habits, Fruit, Genotype, Glucuronosyltransferase, Humans, Male, Nutrition Assessment Core Facility, Polymorphism, Genetic, Prevention Center Core Facility, Public Health Sciences Division, Sex Characteristics, Shared Resources, Soy Foods, Specimen Processing Core Facility, Vegetables, Young Adult


UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1 glucuronidates bilirubin, estrogens, and xenobiotic compounds. The UGT1A1*28 polymorphism results in lower promoter activity due to 7 thymine-adenine (TA) repeats rather than the more common 6 TA repeats. Previously, we showed that serum bilirubin, a marker of UGT1A1 activity, was lower among individuals homozygous for the UGT1A1*28 polymorphism (7/7) when randomized to a high fruit and vegetable (F&V) diet, whereas there was no effect in individuals with the wild-type (6/6) and heterozygous (6/7) genotypes. Our objective here was to determine if we could detect genotype x diet interactions on bilirubin concentrations in an observational study. Healthy nonsmoking men (n = 146) and women (n = 147), recruited from the Seattle area, provided blood samples for genotyping and bilirubin measurements. We used multiple linear regression to assess the relationships among UGT1A1 genotype, bilirubin concentrations, and consumption of specific F&V [cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits, and soy foods (n = 268)] based on FFQ and F&V from 6 botanical families [Cruciferae, Rosaceae, Rutaceae, Umbelliferae, Solanaceae, and Leguminosae (n = 261)] based on 3-d food records. We observed a significant interaction of UGT1A1 genotype and citrus consumption among women. Women with the 7/7 genotype who consumed > or = 0.5 daily servings of citrus fruit or foods from the Rutaceae botanical family had approximately 30% lower serum bilirubin than those with the same genotype who consumed less, whereas 6/6 and 6/7 genotypes did not differ by consumption (P for interaction = 0.006 and 0.03, respectively). These results suggest that citrus consumption may increase UGT1A1 activity among women with the 7/7 genotype.