Genetic variant in the glucose transporter type 2 is associated with higher intakes of sugars in two distinct populations

Karen M. Eny, Thomas M. S. Wolever, Bénédicte Fontaine-Bisson, Ahmed El-Sohemy


Glucose sensing in the brain has been proposed to be involved in regulating food intake, but the mechanism is not known. Glucose transporter type 2 (GLUT2)-null mice fail to control their food intake in response to glucose, suggesting a potential role for this transporter as a glucose sensor in the brain. Here we show that individuals with a genetic variation in GLUT2 (Thr110Ile) have a higher daily intake of sugars in two distinct populations. In the first population, compared with individuals with the Thr/Thr genotype, carriers of the Ile allele had a significantly higher intake of sugars as assessed from 3-day food records administered on two separate visits (visit 1: 112 ± 9 vs. 86 ± 4 g/day, P = 0.01; visit 2: 111 ± 8 vs. 82 ± 4 g/day, P = 0.003), demonstrating within-population reproducibility. In a second population, carriers of the Ile allele also reported consuming a significantly greater intake of sugars (131 ± 5 vs. 115 ± 3 g/day, P = 0.007) over a 1-mo period as measured from a food frequency questionnaire. GLUT2 genotypes were not associated with fat, protein, or alcohol intake in either population. These observations were consistent across older and younger adults as well as among subjects with early Type 2 diabetes and healthy individuals. Taken together, our findings show that a genetic variation in GLUT2 is associated with habitual consumption of sugars, suggesting an underlying glucose-sensing mechanism that regulates food intake.

  • glucose sensing
  • glucose sensor(s)
  • glucose transport
  • nutrigenomics
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