Genome-wide association studies have identified SNPs reproducibly associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D). We examined the effect of genetic predisposition to T2D on insulin sensitivity and secretion using detailed phenotyping in overweight individuals with no diagnosis of T2D. Furthermore, we investigated whether this genetic predisposition modifies the responses in beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity to a 24-week dietary intervention. We genotyped 25 T2D-associated SNPs in 377 white participants from the RISCK study. Participants underwent an IVGTT prior to and following a dietary intervention that aimed to lower saturated fat intake by replacement with monounsaturated fat or carbohydrate. We composed a genetic predisposition score (T2D-GPS) by summing the T2D risk-increasing alleles of the 25 SNPs and tested for association with insulin secretion and sensitivity at baseline, and with the change in response to the dietary intervention. At baseline, a higher T2D-GPS was associated with lower acute insulin secretion (AIRg 4% lower/risk allele, P = 0.006) and lower insulin secretion for a given level of insulin sensitivity, assessed by the disposition index (DI 5% lower/risk allele, P = 0.002), but not with insulin sensitivity (Si). T2D-GPS did not modify changes in insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity or the disposition index in response to the dietary interventions to lower saturated fat. Participants genetically predisposed to T2D have an impaired ability to compensate for peripheral insulin resistance with insulin secretion at baseline, but this does not modify the response to a reduction in dietary saturated fat through iso-energetic replacement with carbohydrate or monounsaturated fat.

Original publication




Journal article


Genes Nutr

Publication Date





529 - 536