Research Suggests that a Healthy Diet May Curb Genetic Risk

Genes are known to put individuals at a higher risk of a number of conditions, like cancer and obesity. One gene in particular, known as 9p21, is thought to increase a person’s chances of developing heart disease.

Researchers at Canada’s McGill and McMaster Universities conducted a study to determine whether lifestyle habits can reverse the ill effects of genetics. They found that in the case of 9p21, a healthy diet may be able to curb heart disease risk.

“Our research suggests there may be an important interplay between genes and diet incardiovascular disease,” said the study’s lead author Ron Do, Ph.D.

In order to reach their conclusions, a team of scientists studied about 27,000 people from Europe, South Asia, China, Latin America and the Middle East. They discovered that people with 9p21 who ate a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables had a heart disease risk similar to that of individuals with a “low-risk genotype.”

Authors of the study noted that their findings support recommendations to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

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