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Home arrow News arrow Your Genes Might Influence Your Vegetarian Choice, Study Finds

Your Genes Might Influence Your Vegetarian Choice, Study Finds

HealthReporter author Nadzeya Sankovich
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Last update: October 17, 2023
1 min read 580 Views 0 Comments
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Your Genes Might Influence Your Vegetarian Choice, Study Finds

Key Takeaways

  • A new study suggests that being a vegetarian might be influenced by our genes.
  • American researchers found three genes significantly associated with vegetarianism after analyzing 330,000 genomes.

Scientists at Northwestern University in the US have found that choosing a vegetarian lifestyle could be linked to our genes. The researchers analyzed the genes of 5,324 strict vegetarians and 329,455 non-vegetarians aged 40 to 69. They identified three genes strongly related to vegetarianism, along with 31 others that may also play a role.

The study, published in PLoS ONE, suggests that genes might affect our diet by influencing metabolism, physiology, and taste. Nabeel Yaseen, the lead researcher, stated, “The levels of liking and consumption of dietary items are influenced by taste perception.”

According to the team, linking genes to vegetarianism needs more research. One theory is that certain genes related to fat metabolism and brain function might be involved. 

“Meat may contain unique fatty components that vegetarians are able to adequately synthesise endogenously, whereas others need to obtain them from a meat-containing diet,” Yaseen speculates.

As part of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), this study looks for genetic variations associated with traits. Although it can show correlation, it doesn’t prove causation.

Nabeel Yaseen hopes more studies will be done about the genetics and physiology of vegetarianism, leading to better meat substitutes and personalized dietary recommendations for the future.


  1. Duboust, O. (2023, October 10). Scientists discover evidence that being a vegetarian may be written in your genes. Euronews.
  2. Yaseen, N. Barnes, C. Sun, L. Takeda, A. Rice, J. (2023, October 4). Genetics of vegetarianism: A genome-wide association study. PLoS ONE.
Written by Nadzeya Sankovich
Nadzeya Sankovich is the Vice President of Communications at Health Reporter. Previously a professional journalist, she continues to write scientific articles and conduct research. With a background in sociology and medicine, she has worked with various healthcare organizations, from charities to telemedicine platforms.

Nadzeya is also a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and a volunteer for a non-profit organization that helps underserved communities. Through her work, she empowers people to take charge of their health and well-being.
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