Recent studies suggest that meat intake is associated with diabetes-related phenotypes. However, whether the associations of meat intake and glucose and insulin homeostasis are modified by genes related to glucose and insulin is unknown.
We investigated the associations of meat intake and the interaction of meat with genotype on fasting glucose and insulin concentrations in Caucasians free of diabetes mellitus.
Fourteen studies that are part of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium participated in the analysis. Data were provided for up to 50,345 participants. Using linear regression within studies and a fixed-effects meta-analysis across studies, we examined 1) the associations of processed meat and unprocessed red meat intake with fasting glucose and insulin concentrations; and 2) the interactions of processed meat and unprocessed red meat with genetic risk score related to fasting glucose or insulin resistance on fasting glucose and insulin concentrations.
Processed meat was associated with higher fasting glucose, and unprocessed red meat was associated with both higher fasting glucose and fasting insulin concentrations after adjustment for potential confounders [not including body mass index (BMI)]. For every additional 50-g serving of processed meat per day, fasting glucose was 0.021 mmol/L (95% CI: 0.011, 0.030 mmol/L) higher. Every additional 100-g serving of unprocessed red meat per day was associated with a 0.037-mmol/L (95% CI: 0.023, 0.051-mmol/L) higher fasting glucose concentration and a 0.049-ln-pmol/L (95% CI: 0.035, 0.063-ln-pmol/L) higher fasting insulin concentration. After additional adjustment for BMI, observed associations were attenuated and no longer statistically significant. The association of processed meat and fasting insulin did not reach statistical significance after correction for multiple comparisons. Observed associations were not modified by genetic loci known to influence fasting glucose or insulin resistance.
The association of higher fasting glucose and insulin concentrations with meat consumption was not modified by an index of glucose- and insulin-related single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Six of the participating studies are registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT0000513 (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities), NCT00149435 (Cardiovascular Health Study), NCT00005136 (Family Heart Study), NCT00005121 (Framingham Heart Study), NCT00083369 (Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network), and NCT00005487 (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis).