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Moderation of breastfeeding effects on the IQ by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism

Caspi, Avshalom and Williams, Benjamin and Kim-Cohen, Julia and Craig, Ian W and Milne, Barry J and Poulton, Richie and Schalkwyk, Leonard C and Taylor, Alan and Werts, Helen and Moffitt, Terrie E (2007) 'Moderation of breastfeeding effects on the IQ by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104 (47). pp. 18860-18865. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

<jats:p> Children's intellectual development is influenced by both genetic inheritance and environmental experiences. Breastfeeding is one of the earliest such postnatal experiences. Breastfed children attain higher IQ scores than children not fed breast milk, presumably because of the fatty acids uniquely available in breast milk. Here we show that the association between breastfeeding and IQ is moderated by a genetic variant in <jats:italic>FADS2</jats:italic> , a gene involved in the genetic control of fatty acid pathways. We confirmed this gene–environment interaction in two birth cohorts, and we ruled out alternative explanations of the finding involving gene–exposure correlation, intrauterine growth, social class, and maternal cognitive ability, as well as maternal genotype effects on breastfeeding and breast milk. The finding shows that environmental exposures can be used to uncover novel candidate genes in complex phenotypes. It also shows that genes may work via the environment to shape the IQ, helping to close the nature versus nurture debate. </jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive development; gene environment interaction
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2014 19:35
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 12:08
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10998

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