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FAAH Pro129Thr Variant Is Associated with Increased Cholesterol Levels in Normal-Weight Metabolically Unhealthy Subjects.

Introduction: The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an integral role in maintaining metabolic homeostasis, where an hyperactivation has been related with serum lipid alterations. The biological effects of ECS are limited by the activation of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and by polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake as precursors. The FAAH Pro129Thr variant has been associated with obesity in some populations. However, the association with metabolic phenotypes in the Mexican population has not been studied. This study aimed to analyze the association of the FAAH Pro129Thr variant with serum lipids and diet in Mexican adults with different metabolic phenotypes. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with 306 subjects between 18 and 65 years of age. They were classified with normal weight (NW) or excess weight (EW) according to their body mass index (BMI). The EW group included individuals with overweight or obesity (BMI 25-39.9 kg/m2 ). The individuals were classified into two metabolic phenotypes, metabolically healthy and metabolically unhealthy (MUH), using the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance and the National Cholesterol Education Program-adenosine triphosphate III cutoff points for blood pressure, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and fasting glucose. Subjects with ≥2 of 5 altered parameters were classified as MUH. The FAAH Pro129Thr variant was determined by allelic discrimination with TaqMan® probes. Results: The total cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were associated with the FAAH Pro129Thr variant in NW-MUH subjects. Moreover, a lower PUFA intake was found in EW-MUH subjects with the FAAH variant. Conclusions: FAAH Pro129Thr variant has an important role in lipid metabolism, especially in NW-MUH subjects. By contrast, a low dietary intake of endocannabinoid PUFA precursors may partly counteract the development of the altered lipid profile associated with overweight/obesity.

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