TNF-A

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Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα), a proinflammatory protein secreted by both macrophages (large white blood cells that form part of the immune system) and adipocytes (a cell specialised for the storage of fat, found in connective tissue). It has been shown to alter the whole body glucose balance and has been implicated in the development of obesity, obesity-related insulin resistance and dyslipidemia (meaning an abnormal amount of lipids, or fats, in the blood).

The A allele variation in this gene results in elevated levels of the circulating TNFα protein. The A allele is also associated with increased risk for obesity, adiposity, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance, especially when dietary fat intake is high.

In the presence of the A allele genetic variation, it is recommended to increase the intake of omega 3 fatty acids, and reduce pro-inflammatory saturated fatty acids. If dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids is inadequate, supplementation may be required. Weight management is also imperative in managing inflammation.