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

Caspi, A and Williams, B and Kim-Cohen, J and Craig, IW and Milne, BJ and Poulton, R and Schalkwyk, LC and Taylor, A and Werts, H and Moffitt, TE (2007) 'Moderation of breastfeeding effects on the IQ by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104 (47). 18860 - 18865. ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

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 FADS2, 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. © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Biological Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2014 19:35
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:46
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10998

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