What do you think about creating the ultimate hacking thread for Apo-ε4/ε4 gene mutations to discuss practical real-life implications. What worked and what did not for cholesterol numbers and overall well-being in terms of lifestyle, nutrition, exercise regimens, supplementation, etc?
Please, upvote it, even if it's not applicable o you, but if you're interested in genetics and how it interacts with Paleo, it's very important!
I have done 23andme testing and found out that I have a relatively rare mutation in APOE (Apolipoprotein E) gene. Practically, it means that I have 6 times higher risk to get Alzheimer (which gets me to 40% chance). Basically, I hit both risk alleles. And I hit both twice. A little more information on APOE: http://snpedia.com/index.php/APOE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apolipoprotein_E
It affects lipid metabolism very strongly.
So, the question is how an APoE 4/4 carrier should eat for optimal health and good lipids?
Some say that they should stop eating saturated fats, because since these carriers can't utilize fats properly, these become plaque in the arteries and brain (leading to Alzheimer's or atherosclerosis).
The other half say that because we can't utilize them properly, we must eat more, otherwise the brain starves. Besides, coconut oil has shown to almost reverse Alzheimer's in some patients (although we don't know if these patients were 4/4 or not).
I found one study by Berkeley which seems legit. It strongly support the latter position and recommends that people APOE 4/4 people should minimize saturated fats and even omega-3 as these actually increase LDL (bad cholesterol). http://www.bhlinc.com/clinicians/clinical-references/reference-manual/chapter19
So, how can I get both minimization of Alzheimer's risk and long-term heart health with healthy cholesterol numbers?
I have followed Paleo diet for quite a while. So I'm wondering how should I adapt it. Research is limited, but from what is available at the moment, I should eat a kind of high-protein, moderate-to-high carb and low-fat Paleo diet?
What do you think? What worked for you?
I also train regularly (weightlifting) and supplement wih a good multiviamin (Pure Encapsulation Nutrient with K2 & methylation complex), Vitamin D3, magnesium, fish and fermented cod liver oil. Occasionally, cycles of creatine, whey, glutamine, probiotics, Q10, Acetyl-L-carnitine.
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According to 23andme I'm a 4/4 (and 3.1% Neanderthal!) and I notice MUCH better energy, cognition and fat loss when I eat large amounts of coconut oil daily. High quality coconut oil can be expensive, so at times I've stopped buying it to save money, eating only extra virgin olive oil and grapeseed oil, but each time I've done this I've noticed greater propensity to gain weight, and slower cognition, so I'm going to keep eating coconut oil. My doctor specializes in nutritional medicine and says we should believe the hype about coconut oil being a "good" saturated fat, even for 4/4's.
Also, all you 4/4's out there, be aware that we're more likely to produce high levels of harmful cytokines from strenuous exercise (eg overtraining), which can lower the immune system. For us, less strenuous but more frequent cardio with light strength training may be far better than high intensity exercise that stresses the heart and causes very sore muscles. We need to be extra careful to avoid overtraining, but at the same time we need to keep our blood pumping for our heart health. Frequent, moderate cardio = the golden mean for us. Remember that next time someone brags about the marathon they're training for. Not all types of exercise are good for all people.
That said, the articles I've read have noted that even 4/4's can begin to produce less harmful cytokines if they increase their lifting very slowly, to avoid sore muscles. They weren't saying "don't do strength training" but were indicating that we should be extra careful to increase our weight and reps slowly, to let our bodies adjust to the demands on them.
I skimmed the beginning of your link.
I think the hurdle that you are looking at, with regard to this site, is that the CVD risk associated with e4 is tied to an LDL hypothesis that is flatly rejected on PH (in other words, the e4/CVD association is known to exist within the context of the SAD).
As far as the minimization of Alzheimer's risk, what can anyone possibly say?
Everything will be figured out eventually, just takes time and money (which is why I question the value of something like 23andme).
I just had a conversation with a Prof. Dr. Andro from Suppversity.blogspot.com and he shared several ideas fro APOe 4/4 that I would really love to hear others' opinions on. Here they are:
- try to keep GSH up (NAC, Alcar, SAM-e), better regular low doses than high doses
- keep working out for the rest of your life. 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days/week will reduce the negative effects of APOE4 on plaque formation => http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22232206 (you can reduce your risk to that of anyone else by just working out)
- Stay clear of EPA (higher EPA = lower HDL for you; cf. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23466070)
- mixed results for DHA (higher small LDL here (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23466070) but better TRIGs + cholesterol here (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097177)
- stay clear from saturated fat, as well because it increases your CRP (marker of inflammation) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23134888
- really nothing conclusive on MUFAs
- eat more kiwi (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23151354)
- as for the MCTs 90% quack results and very little controlled science on "coconut miracles" out there.
Would love to hear your thoughts!