Genetic ancestry in relation to the metabolic response to a US versus traditional Mexican diet: a randomized crossover feeding trial among women of Mexican descent.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


European journal of clinical nutrition (2016)


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Certain populations with a large proportion of indigenous American (IA) genetic ancestry may be evolutionarily adapted to traditional diets high in legumes and complex carbohydrates, and may have a detrimental metabolic response to US diets high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars. We tested whether IA ancestry modified the metabolic response to a US versus traditional Mexican diet in a controlled dietary intervention.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: First and second generation Mexican immigrant women (n=53) completed a randomized crossover feeding trial testing the effects of a US versus traditional Mexican diet. The metabolic response to the diets was measured by fasting serum concentrations of glucose, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), adiponectin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and computed homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMAIR). Blood collected at baseline was used for genotyping, and estimation of African, European and IA ancestries with the use of 214 ancestry informative markers.

RESULTS: The genetic ancestral background was 56% IA, 38% European and 6% African. Women in the highest IA ancestry tertile (>62%) were shorter in height, less educated and less acculturated to the US lifestyle, and tended to have higher waist-to-hip ratio compared with women in the middle and lowest IA ancestry tertiles, respectively. Compared with the US diet, the traditional Mexican diet tended to reduce glucose, insulin, IGF-1, IGFBP-3 and HOMAIR among women in the middle IA ancestry group (IA ancestry ⩽45-62%), whereas having no effect on biomarkers related to inflammation.

CONCLUSIONS: We observed modest interactions between IA ancestry and the metabolic response to a US versus traditional Mexican diet among Mexican immigrant women.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 14 December 2016; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2016.211.