Supplementary Material for: Dietary Vitamin A and Visceral Adiposity: A Modulating Role of the Retinol-Binding Protein 4 Gene

Background/Aims: Visceral fat (VF) compared with subcutaneous fat (SF) is more closely associated with cardiometabolic disease. Dietary vitamin A (retinol) may reduce adiposity through its effects on adipogenesis differentially in VF and SF, and this effect may be modulated by retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP4). We investigated whether intake of vitamin A is associated with either VF or SF, and whether this association is moderated by the RBP4 genotype (rs10882272, C/T) previously associated with circulating retinol levels. Methods: This was a cross-sectional association study in a sample of 947 adolescents from a French-Canadian founder population. VF and SF were quantified with magnetic resonance imaging, and vitamin A intake was assessed with a 24-hour food recall. All participants were genotyped to determine their RBP4 variant. Results: Dietary intake of vitamin A was negatively associated with VF; however, it was not associated with SF. These relationships were independent of age, sex, height and energy intake, and were modulated by the RBP4 variant. The T allele promoted adiposity-reducing effects of vitamin A in VF and adiposity-enhancing effects in SF, while the C allele had adiposity-reducing effects in both VF and SF. Conclusions: Dietary vitamin A may reduce abdominal adiposity and promote visceral to subcutaneous body fat redistribution during adolescence in an RBP4-dependent manner. These observational findings provide the basis for future interventional studies, which together with genetic information may inject further causality in the association between dietary vitamin A intake and abdominal adiposity.