Study of more than 330,000 genomes indicates 34 genes possibly involved in vegetarianism.

Specifically, the researchers, led by Northwestern University Associate Professor of Pathology Nabil Yasin, compared the genomes of 5,324 strict vegetarians with 329,455 non-vegetarians who participated in the UK Biobank biomedical database. They identified variations in 34 genes involved in lipid metabolism and brain function that may be associated with choosing a vegetarian diet. This finding raises the possibility that differences in how the organism processes lipids and the subsequent effects on the brain to be behind the choice of a vegetarian diet.

However, the researchers note that more research is needed on possible differences between lipid composition and metabolism in vegetarians and non-vegetarians, as well as other factors in physiology that may govern vegetarianism.

A better understanding of these factors can help nutritionists design more effective dietary recommendations based on each person’s individual genetics.

See the scientific publication here