Apo E Gene and Diet
All afternoon, I have been thinking about the Apo E cholesterol-related gene and what combination of Apo E genes each person in our family inherited. The Apo E gene provides instructions for making a protein called apolipoprotein E and it is located on Chromosome 19. This protein combines with fats (lipids) in the body to form molecules called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are responsible for packaging cholesterol and other fats and carrying them through the bloodstream.
Some research suggests there is a connection between the Apo E gene and Alzheimer’s and dementia. I found out that Addi and Cassi have Apo E gene is 3/3, which is considered "neutral" so this doesn’t explain their dementia. I think their problems have more to do with insulin factors (they have a glucose metabolism problem in frontal lobe of their brains), oxidative stress, and inflammation and the interaction between genes and nutrients/vitamins.
Research suggests that Apo E genes can influence your predisposition to certain illnesses from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and cancer. I read that persons with the Apo E 4/4 genotype could have up to a 90 percent chance of developing a chronic illness such as Alzheimer’s. The Apo E gene occurs as three variations in your body: Apo E 2, Apo E 3, and Apo E 4. Since genes come in matching pairs, we inherit one from each parent. There are six possible combinations of Apo E gene pairs: 2/2, 2/3, 3/3, 4/2, 4/3, and 4/4.
The Apo E gene could be a factor affecting how your body uses different types of foods and nutrients and different Apo E genotypes likely process foods differently. There is an interesting book on this topic called The Apo E Diet.
Over the next few weeks, I will be working to have personal genetic testing done on our entire family and we will find out how our Apo E combinations might play a role in our health.