• Desaturase indices;
  • Genetic variations;
  • Inflammation;
  • Nutrigenetics;
  • Plasma lipids


To determine if single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD)-1 gene that encodes a key enzyme for fatty acid metabolism are associated with the response of cardiometabolic risk factors to n-3 PUFA supplementation.

Methods and results

Two hundred and ten subjects completed a 2-week run-in period followed by 6-week supplementation with 5 g of fish oil (1.9–2.2 g eicosapentaenoic acid and 1.1 g docosahexaenoic acid). Risk factors were measured pre and post n-3 supplementation. Fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids was analyzed by GC and the desaturase indices SCD16 (16:1n-7/16:0) and SCD18 (18:1n-9/18:0) were calculated. Genotyping of eight SNPs of the SCD1 gene was performed. N-3 PUFA supplementation decreased plasma triglycerides, as well as SCD16 and SCD18 indices, but increased fasting plasma glucose concentrations. SNPs in SCD1-modified cardiometabolic risk factors pre and post n-3 PUFA supplementation: triglyceride (rs508384, p = 0.0086), IL6 (rs3071, p = 0.0485), C-reactive protein (rs3829160, p = 0.0489), and SCD18 indices (rs2234970, p = 0.0337). A significant interaction effect between the SNP and n-3 PUFA supplementation was also observed for fasting plasma glucose levels (rs508384, p = 0.0262).


These results suggest that cardiometabolic risk factors are modulated by genetic variations in the SCD1 gene alone or in combination with n-3 PUFA supplementation.