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ApoE Genotype


Apolipoprotein-E (ApoE) is composed of 299 amino acids and transports lipoproteins, fat-soluble vitamins, and cholesterol into the lymph system and then into the blood. It is synthesized principally in the liver, but has also been found in other tissues such as the brain, kidneys, and spleen.

In the nervous system, non-neuronal cell types, most notably astroglia and microglia, are the primary producers of ApoE, while neurons preferentially express the ApoE receptors. There are seven currently identified mammalian receptors for ApoE which belong to the evolutionarily conserved low density lipoprotein receptor gene family. Our at-home APoE test kit can provide insight into your genetics and help you take steps to improve your health. 

About Apolipoprotein E

ApolipoproteinE (ApoE) is a class of proteins involved in the metabolism of fats in the body.

This protein combines with fats to form molecules called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are re­sponsible for packaging cholesterol and other fats and carrying them through the blood­stream.

Maintaining normal levels of cholesterol is es­sential for the prevention of conditions which affect the heart, blood vessels, hormones and cell membranes.

Since the brain is made of mostly neurons covered with a myelin sheath composed of choles­terol, it follows that the protein portion of these lypoproteins would affect the structure, integrity and functions of all fats in the brain and body.

ApoE Genotypes

Everyone has two copies of the ApoE gene and the genetic combination determines your ApoE “genotype” -E2/E2, E2/E3, E2/E4, E3/E3, E3/E4, E4/E4. This genotypic test deter­mines an individual’s ability to detoxify mercury as well as their propensity to develop Alzheimer’s and other autoim­mune/neurological conditions. People with the ApoE gene (genotype 3/4, 4/4) potentially have up to 12 times greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease compared with those who have ApoE genotypes (2/2, 2/3, 3/3).

Another potential role of ApoE is in the removal of mercury from the biosystem. The optimal genotype for mercury removal is ApoE 2/2, whereas ApoE 3/3 is the most preva­lent in the human population, and the most potentially dangerous is ApoE 4/4 with no mercury removing capability.

Keep in mind that a persons genetic profile is just that – a “profile” and does not definitively indict a person to any one specific disease. It is commonly understood by scientists and doctors that a persons environmental exposure during their lifetime is just as important, if not more important, than their genetic profile.

The ApoE gene has been significantly linked as a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive development.

The ApoE4 genetic variant has been associated with:

  • Brain atrophy
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Poor Immune Response
  • Increased Cholesterol Levels

Genotypes 3/4 and 4/4

People with harmful forms of the ApoE gene (genotype 3/4, 4/4) have up to 12 times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared with those who have other variations (2/2, 2/3, 3/3) of the gene. Another role of ApoE is in the removal of mercury from the biosystem.

Mercury and ApoE

The optimal genotype for removing mercury is ApoE 2/2 (4 cysteine residues), whereas ApoE 3/3 is the most prevalent in the human population (2 cysteine residues and 2 arginine residues), and the most detrimental is ApoE 4/4 (4 arginines and no mercury removing capability).

What the science tells us...

The APOE gene provides instructions for making a protein called apolipoprotein E. 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. Maintaining normal levels of cholesterol is essential for the prevention of disorders that affect the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular diseases), including heart attack and stroke.

There are at least three slightly different versions (alleles) of the APOE gene. The major alleles are called e2, e3, and e4. The most common allele is e3, which is found in more than half of the general population. (SOURCE)

ApoE is the only apolipoprotein that has been associated to the deleterious consequences of mercury exposure. No other apolipoprotein gene has been associated to the susceptibility to mercury intoxication. (SOURCE)

It was shown that both organic and inorganic mercury cause those biochemical changes in tubuli structures which can be found in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

In healthy human brain tissue cultures, only mercury, even in lower concentrations, but not aluminum, lead, zinc or iron were able to inhibit binding to guanosine-tri-phosphate (GTP), which is necessary for tubulin synthesis and thus for neuron function.

The APOEe4 allele is associated with an increased risk of developing either AD and Parkinson’s (PD). An earlier onset of PD and an earlier onset of psychosis in PD have also been associated with an elevated expression of the APOEe4 allele.

The APOEe4 also appears to increase susceptibility to the neurotoxic effects of lead and mercury. These associations may be explained by the fact that APOEe4 allele has reduced detoxifying capabilities compared to the other two subtypes (APOEe2, APOEe3).

Unlike these two subtypes, the APOEe4 allele does not contain any sulfhydryl- groups, which may have the ability to bind to and detoxify metals such as lead and mercury. (SOURCE)

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common muscular functioning disorder, and it is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The prevalence of PD has increased in industrialized nations and will continue to increase alongside the longevity of the population. A large number of metals such as mercury, copper, and others can be released from metal body implants such as dental restorations, phagocyted by blood macrophages, and transported into the brain.

Additionally, mercury as vapor needs no transportations through macrophages, because it can easily penetrate through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Mercury exhibits synergistic effects when combined with other metals such as lead, aluminum, manganese, cadmium, and zinc, exacerbating mercury toxicity even at low and nontoxic doses. (SOURCE)

Children have a higher susceptibility to adverse neurological mercury effects, compared to adults with similar exposures. Moreover, there exists a marked variability of personal response to detrimental mercury action, in particular among population groups with significant mercury exposure. The possibility that the presence of APOE ε4 allele may enhance the risk of behavioral deficit among preschool children, previously characterized by elevated Hg concentrations in the cord blood, was investigated. The findings confirmed the influence of APOE on the child’s neurodevelopment by means of three allelic variants ε2, ε3 and ε4 (rs7412 and rs429358), acting as important protective (ε2) or risk (ε4) factors. (SOURCE)  Additional Research & Resources


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