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Emily Sonestedt

Emily Sonestedt

Associate senior lecturer

Emily Sonestedt

Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Close Proximity to the Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF21) Gene Found to Be Associated with Sugar Intake in a Swedish Population


  • Suzanne Janzi
  • Esther González-padilla
  • Kevin Najafi
  • Stina Ramne
  • Emma Ahlqvist
  • Yan Borné
  • Emily Sonestedt

Summary, in English

Hereditary mechanisms are partially responsible for individual differences in sensitivity to and the preference for sweet taste. The primary aim of this study was to examine the associations between 10 genetic variants and the intake of total sugar, added sugar, and sugars with sweet taste (i.e., monosaccharides and sucrose) in a middle-aged Swedish population. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the Fibroblast grow factor 21 (FGF21) gene, seven top hits from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on total sugar intake, and one SNP within the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene (the only SNP reaching GWAS significance in a previous study), were explored in relation to various forms of sugar intake in 22,794 individuals from the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study, a population-based cohort for which data were collected between 1991–1996. Significant associations (p = 6.82 × 10−7 − 1.53 × 10−3) were observed between three SNPs (rs838145, rs838133, and rs8103840) in close relation to the FGF21 gene with high Linkage Disequilibrium, and all the studied sugar intakes. For the rs11642841 within the FTO gene, associations were found exclusively among participants with a body mass index ≥ 25 (p < 5 × 10−3). None of the remaining SNPs studied were associated with sugar intake in our cohort. A further GWAS should be conducted to identify novel genetic variants associated with the intake of sugar.


  • Nutrition Epidemiology
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology

Publishing year










Document type

Journal article




  • Endocrinology and Diabetes



Research group

  • Nutrition Epidemiology
  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology


  • ISSN: 2072-6643