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Going vegetarian? The dietary choice may be influenced by your genes.


The new study identified several genes that may be linked to vegetarianism, although scientists don’t yet know exactly how the genes influence the dietary choice. (Image credit: Joan Ransley via Getty Images)

Being vegetarian may be (partly) in your genes, a new study suggests. 

By analyzing the genomes of more than 335,000 people and using questionnaires to assess their meat intake, scientists have identified one point in the human genome — rs72884519 on chromosome 18 — that is significantly associated with following a vegetarian diet. In a separate analysis, the researchers identified three gene variants — NPC1, RMC1, and RIOK3 — clustered in that same region that are linked to vegetarianism, as well as another 31 genes elsewhere in the genetic code that may have a “possible role” in this dietary choice. 

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