Frontiers in Genetics
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (ZR2017MH100, ZR2017MH097); National Health and Medical Research Council
Evidence from observational studies for the effect of tea consumption on obesity is inconclusive. This study aimed to verify the causal association between tea consumption and obesity through a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis in general population-based datasets. The genetic instruments, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with tea consumption habits, were obtained from genome-wide association studies (GWAS): UK Biobank, Nurses’ Health Study, Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and Women’s Genome Health Study. The effect of the genetic instruments on obesity was analyzed using the UK Biobank dataset (among ∼500,000 participants). The causal relationship between tea consumption and obesity was analyzed by five methods of MR analyses: inverse variance weighted (IVW) method, MR-Egger regression method, weighted median estimator (WME), weighted mode, and simple mode. Ninety-one SNPs were identified as genetic instruments in our study. A mild causation was found by IVW (odds ratio [OR] = 0.998, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.996 to 1.000, p = 0.049]), which is commonly used in two-sample MR analysis, indicating that tea consumption has a statistically significant but medically weak effect on obesity control. However, the other four approaches did not show significance. Since there was no heterogeneity and pleiotropy in this study, the IVW approach has the priority of recommendation. Further studies are needed to clarify the effects of tea consumption on obesity-related health problems in detail.
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