Do you need to limit your saturated fat intake?

Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Author Alex Auld

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This week our research team revisited and updated one of our earliest traits; Saturated Fat Response. While your personal trait result hasn’t changed, we’ve updated your insights and actions to help you better understand how saturated fats may impact your health and body composition.

In this blog, we provide a breakdown of the individual Reducing Saturated Fat trait bands, allowing you to see where you sit relative to other FitnessGenes members.


Trait overview

The Reducing Saturated Fat trait explores whether you carry the variant of the APOA2 gene which increases your risk of weight gain when consuming a diet high in saturated fat. This would include any diet where over 10% of your total daily calories are sourced from saturated fat; equivalent to approximately 22g of saturated fat per day.

Generally speaking, saturated fat is considered to be unhealthy due to its indirect effect on the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels and its direct effect of adding to fat stores in and around vital organs, such as the liver.

One of our defences against the detrimental health effects of saturated fat is Apolipoprotein A2 (ApoA2), a molecule which regulates the transport and metabolism of fat and cholesterol. For example, ApoA2 helps to clear fats and cholesterol from arteries, helping to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart disease.

However, certain variants of the gene that regulates ApoA2 can reduce its activity, therefore increasing the potentially harmful effects of saturated fat.


Trait bands

Within the Reducing Saturated Fat traits there are two possible results, or bands: increased risk of weight gain with saturated fat or average risk of weight gain with saturated fat

Increased risk of weight gain with saturated fat

Carrier of the CC risk genotype. People with this genotype are at an increased risk of weight gain when following a diet high in saturated fat due to decreased ApoA2 expression.

However, this weight gain risk is dependent on a high daily intake of saturated fat. Research has found that when people with the CC genotype eat less than 22g of saturated fat per day, the risk is eliminated. 

Average risk of weight gain with saturated fat

Carrier of the CT or TT non-risk genotype. People with either of these genotypes are not at an increased risk of weight gain when following a diet high in saturated fat. There also appears to be no significant difference between the CT and TT genotypes in regard to risk.

This doesn’t give carriers a green light to eat as much saturated fat as they like! Foods high in saturated fat can still result in weight gain when consumed excessively.


How common is this risk?

As reported in our Your Saturated Fat Response (APOA2) Trait blog, studies suggest that the CC risk genotype is carried by 10-15% of the population. That exactly mirrors what we’ve discovered within the FitnessGenes cohort, with 12% of our members being grouped within the increased risk of weight gain with saturated fat trait band. 

The remaining 88% of FitnessGenes members carry the average risk of weight gain with saturated fat trait band, with a relatively even split between the CT (43%) and TT (45%) genotypes.


Discover your personal trait

Yet to view your updated Saturated Fat Response insights and actions? Login to truefeed now to see if you need to keep an extra eye on your saturated fat intake.

Not yet a FitnessGenes member? Discover your personal Saturated Fat Response trait, alongside 120+ others, by purchasing your DNA analysis or DNA upload product today.


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