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Common gene mutation bad for liver values, good for blood lipids in children

Date:
January 13, 2016
Source:
University of Eastern Finland
Summary:
A common mutation in one gene raises liver values but at the same time improves blood lipid values in healthy children, according to a recent study. Children who carry the gene mutation had higher ALT values, indicative of changes in liver metabolism. At the same time, however, they also had lower blood triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels. This finding is in line with earlier research in adults, showing that the gene mutation both predisposes for fatty liver disease and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
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A common mutation in the TM6SF2 gene raises liver values but at the same time improves blood lipid values in healthy children, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland. Children who carry the gene mutation had higher ALT values, indicative of changes in liver metabolism. At the same time, however, they also had lower blood triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels. This finding is in line with earlier research in adults, showing that the gene mutation both predisposes for fatty liver disease and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The results will be published in Pediatric Research, and a pre-print version is available on the journal website.

Overweight is often accompanied by disturbed sugar and lipid metabolism, typically associated with the development of fatty liver. A mutation in the TM6SF2 gene, however, weakens the liver's ability to transfer triglyceride lipids to circulation, thus lowering blood triglyceride levels and at the same time promoting the development of fatty liver.

The study showed that children who carry the gene mutation had higher ALT values but lower triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels than their non-carrier peers. In other children, however, the researchers observed a typical clustering of risk factors in which elevated triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels were associated with higher ALT values.

"These findings indicate that despite having good blood lipid values, children who carry the risk gene may well be on their way to developing fatty liver disease," says Anna Viitasalo, MD, of the University of Eastern Finland.

The mutation in the TM6SF2 gene was carried by 11 per cent of the children who participated in the study.

The study included 462 healthy 6-to-9 year-old girls and boys from the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study, PANIC. The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study is an on-going lifestyle intervention study, which produces valuable information on children's lifestyles, health and well-being all the way into adulthood.


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Materials provided by University of Eastern Finland. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna Viitasalo, Jussi Pihlajamäki, Jussi Paananen, Mustafa Atalay, Virpi Lindi, Timo A Lakka. Associations of TM6SF2 167K allele with liver enzymes and lipid profile in children: The PANIC Study. Pediatric Research, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/pr.2016.3

Cite This Page:

University of Eastern Finland. "Common gene mutation bad for liver values, good for blood lipids in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113103320.htm>.
University of Eastern Finland. (2016, January 13). Common gene mutation bad for liver values, good for blood lipids in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 26, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113103320.htm
University of Eastern Finland. "Common gene mutation bad for liver values, good for blood lipids in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113103320.htm (accessed September 26, 2016).