DNA HealthInflammation

Interleukin 6

 IL-6 -174 G>C




IL-6 Gene Detail

Interleukin 6 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that plays a crucial role in inflammation and regulates expression of c-reactive-protein (CRP).



IL-6 -174 G>C

The C allele has been associated with raised IL-6 and CRP concentrations, inflammation, obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia, visceral fat deposition, type 2 diabetes, several cancers and raised systolic blood pressure. All of these are pronounced in smokers.

 The research does show that IL6 can have pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. IL6 can reduce inflammatory process by promoting synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokines and negatively regulating inflammatory targets.



Individuals with the GC and CC genotype should follow a diet to reduce inflammation that includes:

  • Increasing omega 3 fatty acids,
  • Decreasing sources of saturated fat and trans fat and replacing them with mono-unsaturated fats. A study by van Dijk et al in 2009 saw that eating a diet high in saturated fats for 8 weeks lead to an increased expression of inflammatory genes (IL6 and NFkB) in the adipose tissue compared to a diet rich in mono-unsaturated fats resulted in more anti-inflammation gene expression.
  • Moderating omega 6 fatty acid intake,
  • Increasing intake of vegetables and anti-oxidant-rich foods.
  • If dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids is inadequate, supplementation may be required.
  • A healthy weight as adipose tissue is a major source of IL6, providing 30% of total circulating concentration of IL6 in healthy individuals.
  • Avoidance of all smoking.
  • A high sensitivity CRP blood test may give further insight for at risk individuals.



Role of interleukin-6 gene polymorphisms in the risk of coronary artery disease

Wang et al, 2015