Lipid and Chronic Disease Core (LCDC)
Director: Ronald M. Krauss, MD
Dietary guidelines continue to emphasize diets low in saturated and total fat to reduce the risk of obesity and its related comorbidities - diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The rationale for this recommendation is based primarily on the effect of dietary saturated fat on levels of plasma LDL cholesterol, the principal lipoprotein target of intervention for coronary disease risk reduction. Similar interventions may also be useful in reducing incidence and severity of obesity and diabetes, which are also characterized by dyslipidemias and prostate cancer that may be exacerbated by increased fat intake.
The notion that genetic differences contribute to variability in dietary lipoprotein response is the question being investigated by the Lipid and Chronic Disease Core (LCDC). The LCDC carries out research on nutritional, metabolic and genetic influences on cardiovascular disease risk. The principle activities of this core involve: (1) the study of genetic influences on the effects of diet and weight change on atherogenic lipoprotein metabolism and (2) the use of genomic tools in studies of obesity-related metabolic conditions that are prevalent in minority populations.
The LCDC measures plasma lipids, lipoproteins, glucose, insulin and other hormones, and inflammatory markers in order to study genetic influences on metabolic responses to changes in dietary macronutrient composition, caloric restriction, and weight loss. Inter-individual variations of changes in these measurements are being related to candidate gene polymorphisms and to changes of expression of genes in adipose tissue in response to the dietary manipulations.