BACKGROUND: Body height is a classic polygenic trait. About 80%-90% of height is inherited and 10%-20% owed to environmental factors, of which the most important ones are nutrition and diseases in preadolescents and adolescents.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore potential relations between the LCT (lactase) C>T-13910 polymorphism, milk consumption, and body height in a sample of Swedish preadolescents and adolescents.
DESIGN: In a cross-sectional study, using a random sample of preadolescents and adolescents (n = 597), dietary intakes were determined. Anthropometric measurements including sexual maturity (Tanner stage) and birth weight were assessed. Parental body height and socio-economic status (SES) were obtained by questionnaires. Genotyping for the LCT C>T-13910 polymorphism that renders individuals lactase persistent (LP) or lactase non-persistent (LNP) was performed by DNA sequencing. Stepwise backward multivariate linear regression was used.
RESULTS: Milk consumption was significantly and positively associated with body height (β = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.040, 0.87, p = 0.032). Adjustments were performed for sex, parental height, birth weight, body mass index (BMI), SES, and Tanner stage. This model explains 90% of the observed variance of body height (adjusted R(2) = 0.89). The presence of the -13910 T allele was positively associated with body height (β = 2.05; 95% CI: 0.18, 3.92, p = 0.032).
CONCLUSIONS: Milk consumption is positively associated with body height in preadolescents and adolescents. We show for the first time that a nutrigenetic variant might be able to explain in part phenotypic variation of body height in preadolescents and adolescents. Due to the small sample size further studies are needed.
2011. Vol. 55