Nutrition is a key environmental factor that is particularly involved in the pathogenesis and progression of several polygenic, diet-related diseases. Nutrigenomics refers to the interaction between nutrition and the human genome. Dietary fatty acids interact with multiple nutrient-sensitive transcription factors. This explains the molecular basis of some of the health effects associated with altered dietary fatty acid composition. The metabolic syndrome is a very common condition, characterized by insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, dyslipidaemia and hypertension. It often precedes Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Several lines of evidence suggest that the interaction between nutrient-derived metabolic stressors and pro-inflammatory signals play an important role in the aetiology of insulin resistance and the development of the metabolic syndrome. This paper will address the interaction between several nutrient-sensitive transcription factors, including SREBP (sterol-regulatory-element-binding protein) and NFκB (nuclear factor κB), demonstrating how this interaction may be altered with dietary fatty acid interventions.

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