The interaction between 5-HTTLPR genotype and ruminative thinking on BMI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Negative affect or stress is often found to increase energy intake for high palatable energy-rich foods and hence weight gain. Reduced brain
serotonin (5-HT) function is known to increase stress vulnerability and the risk for eating-related disturbances. A short (S) allele polymorphism
in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) is associated with a less efficient functioning brain serotonin system and therefore higher stress
vulnerability. It has been suggested that this genotype may be directly linked to an increased risk for weight gain and/or obesity. However,
a high amount of variability has been apparent in replicating such a direct gene on weight gain relationship. A most recent suggestion is that
this gene by weight relationship might be moderated by an additional (cognitive) vulnerability factor involving repetitive negative thinking
(rumination). Our objective was to investigate whether the S-allele of 5-HTTLPR contributes to weight gain particularly in high cognitive
ruminating individuals. A total of 827 healthy young male and female college students (aged 21·3 (SD 3·0) years; BMI 16–41·7 kg/m2) were
genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and assessed for rumination (Event Related Ruminative Index) and body weight. In line with the
hypothesis, a hierarchical regression model showed that higher BMI scores were observed in specifically high ruminating S'-carriers (P=0·031,
f² = 0·022). These results suggest that cognitive rumination may be a critical moderator of the association between 5-HTTLPR and body mass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume118
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • 5-HTTLPR
  • Stress
  • Emotional eating
  • Rumination
  • Weight gain
  • BODY-MASS INDEX
  • SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER POLYMORPHISM
  • 3-FACTOR EATING QUESTIONNAIRE
  • ANOREXIA-NERVOSA
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION
  • GENE POLYMORPHISM
  • DAILY STRESS
  • WEIGHT-GAIN
  • LIFE EVENTS

Cite this