The APOE Gene: What You Need to Know for Your Health

The APOE Gene: What You Need to Know for Your Health

Today, we will be talking about something that has come up in the news a lot lately, and that is the APOE gene.

It’s quite possible that you heard about this gene recently due to the public announcement from Chris Hemsworth stating he was going to take a break from his acting career. He made this decision after uncovering that due to this particular gene, he has an increased predisposition to developing Alzheimer’s.

So, get ready to learn about the APOE gene and why it matters for your health. While genetics can be a complex topic, understanding your APOE genotype can help you make informed decisions to reduce your risk for certain health conditions. So, if you are ready, let’s dive in!

First off, have you ever heard the saying “knowledge is power”? Well, when it comes to your personal health, this couldn’t be more true. The more rigorous and precise data we collect about our physiology, the better equipped we are to make informed choices about our health. And that’s where the genetic makeup and the APOE gene in particular comes in.The APOE gene is responsible for producing a protein called Apolipoprotein E, which plays a crucial role in how the body metabolizes fats. It is involved in the transport of cholesterol and other lipids in the bloodstream and in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), helping to regulate levels of cholesterol in the body. It is the main cholesterol carrier in the brain and central nervous system; and it is mostly produced in our liver.

There are three common forms of the APOE gene – E2, E3, and E4.And each of us inherits two copies of the gene, one from each parent. The E2 genotype is the rarest of the three and has been associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease.[1] The E3 is the most common form and is considered the “neutral” genotype (meaning it is not associated with an increased or decreased risk for specific health conditions).[2] Finally, APOE4. This genotype has been linked to an increased risk for some serious health conditions.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of conditions are we talking about here?

Well, buckle up. Because the list is a doozy. Having the APOE4 genotype has been associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, dyslipidemia, and even hearing loss.[3] Yikes!

It’s believed that in the E4 genotype, there is a change in the way these proteins bind to the receptors in the brain. This triggers a cascade of toxic events, including reduced clearance of toxic amyloid-B proteins from the brain.[1] And can then cause an increase in inflammation and disruption of mitochondrial function. Combined, these events lead to neurodegeneration, which is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s.[2]

Here is the kicker. One copy of the E4 gene increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease 2-3 times. Two copies of the E4 gene (which is quite rare – only 2-3 percent of the general population), increases the risk up to 12 times.[3]

While the exact mechanisms behind how APOE4 increases these risks are complex and multifaceted (and definitely not the main point of this article). What’s clear is that knowing your APOE genotype can help you take proactive steps to reduce your risk.

Here’s the good news: having the APOE4 genotype doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to develop any of these conditions. There are many other factors that come into play, such as lifestyle and environment. That means that even if you do have the APOE4 genotype, there are steps you can take to mitigate your risk. Things like maintaining a healthy weight; controlling your blood sugar; getting regular exercise; and quitting smoking; or limiting alcohol intake can all make a big difference.[4]

And that’s where epigenetics comes in. Epigenetics is the study of how our environment and behaviors can impact the way our genes function. It’s a powerful reminder that our daily habits (what we eat, how much we move, and how we manage stress) can have a significant impact on our health outcomes.

And, we are not even bringing out the big guns, such as hormone and peptide therapies; and all of the latest biohacking tech you have at your disposal.

The point is, while genetic testing can be a useful tool, it’s not the whole story. By taking an active role in our health and making positive lifestyle choices, we can all work towards reducing our risk for these and other health conditions.

If you’re interested in learning more about your APOE genotype, genetic testing is a good place to start. Talk to your doctor or a genetic counselor to see if testing is right for you. And remember, no matter what your genotype is, there’s always something you can do to improve your health and wellbeing. So get out there, move your body, eat healthy food, and live your best life!

If you want to learn more about this topic, or even get more data on your genetic predispositions and what you can do to optimize your health journey, contact your BIOHAX friends.

Just click the button below, so one of our team members can answer all of your questions.


Just click the button below, so one of our team members can answer all of your questions.

Chief Medical OfficerDr.De
Marcos de Andrade MD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

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