• Dr. Julie McLaughlin

Can your DNA determine your food choices for optimal health?  APO E and Metabolic Typing

Wow, this sounds like personalized nutrition! Think about the potential of that! Have you ever heard of nutritional genomics, or nutrigenomics? It is a new field that studies of how foods affect our genes and how individual genetic differences can affect the way we respond to nutrients in the foods we eat. This is a new way to prevent, minimize or treating chronic disease through small but precise dietary changes. We have all heard of the person who smoked since they were 12 and lived to be 95 never experiencing lung cancer or any of the other dangerous risks of smoking, while another person loses a lung over second hand smoke. Some people are more or less susceptible to certain things we ingest into our bodies. Some people do great on the Atkins diet while others fail miserably. The answer is in our genes!!

APO E and Metabolic Typing can help you change your nutrition to prevent, reverse and control chronic disease.

Starting my practice in the no-fat era and the release of the now infamous 1992 food pyramid touting 9-12 serving of grains per day seem to have a one size fit all answer when it came to what diet to recommend to patients to help them achieve optimal health. As the years have progressed and Americans have become sicker instead of healthier it is more evident than ever that the no fat approach was "gravely" wrong.

So what is the best diet? After long discussions and research with my fiend Michelle Keyes this is what we came up with; it depends on your genes and your metabolic type. Genetic factors such as APOE which is a apolipoprotein which clearly contribute to how your body reacts to food, especially, carbohydrates and fat. Metabolic Typing is a subjective questionnaire that you take after 4 weeks of a eliminating processed and unhealthy ingredients to help you determine the nutrients that best fuel your body to prevent and yes reverse long term chronic disease.

It is so exciting! So not to make it too complicated with all the scientific lingo here is the skinny on APO E:

APO E 3/3 individuals should eat a mixed type diet based on Metabolic Typing.  50% complex carbs and 50% protein and fat should make up their plates.
  • There are 3 common types of APOE (a genetic marker) E2,E3, and E4

  • Each person has 2 of these markers, one from their mother and one from their father

  • Because of math there are six possibilities a person can have (E2/E2, E2/E3, E2/E4, E3/E3, E3/E4, and E4/E4)

Let’s take a deeper look at what each mean:

APOE 3/3 is the most common, in fact 65% of people have this combination to their nutritional genomic lock. These people metabolize cholesterol “normally” and they correspond to the mixed type in Metabolic typing. Their diet should be 50% Complex Carbs and 50% protein and fat. Michelle Keyes and I collaborated to give you a better visual of what this would look like by making a Metabolically Typed Food Pyramid that corresponds with your APO E type.

The E2 genotype is a protein type (10% of the population). They make large quantities of APOE and have lower cholesterol and LDL’s (bad cholesterol) but tend to have high triglycerides and a tendency for diabetes. Their diet should be 30% complex carbs and 70% protein and fat.

APO E2 individuals are a protein type and having a diet of 40% complex carbs and 60% protein and fat give them the best combination for optimal health

The E4 genotype, the Carb Type (25% of the population) make a small about of APOE. They tend to have a higher cardiac risk and risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Their diets should be 60% complex carbohydrates and 40% protein and fat.

APO E 4 people have this highest risk of heart disease and are Metabolically Typed as a Carb Type.  Their diet should be 30% protein and fat and 70% complex carbohydrates.

Now let’s put it all together. Michelle Keyes and I were talking as I drove to work one day and we came up the this simple chart below to help you get a better picture.

So what have we learned from this and what can we do about it?

  • Diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases.

  • Common foods is our diet can affect our human genome, either directly or indirectly, to alter gene expression or how it is turned on

  • Your genes can determine your dietary choice to balance between health and disease

  • Some diet-regulated genes, like APO E are likely to play a role in the onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity of chronic diseases.

  • You have the choice to turn these genes on or off with your food choices

  • If you can turn off the negative effects of these genotypes you can effectively prevent, reduce or even reverse chronic disease!

Dr. Julie McLaughlin and Michelle Keyes of Vital Health Protocols developed this chart to compare APOE and Metabolic Typing for a nutrigenomics look at what we should be eating for our health.

Isn’t it clear that we all should know out APO E and Metabolic Typing? We all should pay attention to the nutrigenomic needs of our body. Knowledge gained from comparing diet/gene interactions in different groups of people provides information needed to address the larger problem of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and high cholesterol in our society today.

If you would like to find out more information on this fascinating topic or have yourself and family tested for APO E and Metabolic Typing email our office info@vitalhealthprotocols.com to set up a consultation a doctor near you!

It is never too late to take control of your health. Vital Health Protocols has a complete scope of wellness services including, nutritional coaching, advanced laboratory analysis, doctor, staff and patient portals on Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition. If you would like more information on how you can implement a program in your life or in your practice please send me an email and I would be happy to get you started. Dr. Julie McLaughlin drj@vitalhealthprotocols.com

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