APOE Gene and Exercise Response

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much in your blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood and stick to the walls of your arteries. This is called plaque. Plaque can narrow your arteries or even block them. You are likely to have high cholesterol if members of your family have it, if you are overweight or if you eat a lot of fatty foods.
You can lower your cholesterol by exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables.

Physical exercise reduces total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol level. This effect is thought to be influenced by a persons Apo E genotypes. The APOE gene makes the protein Apolipoprotein E (Apo E) which is involved in the production, delivery, and utilization of cholesterol in the body. There are three common forms of the APOE - E2, E3 and E4. The APO E3 genotype is considered normal and occurs in about 84% of Native Indians and Asians. E2 (carried by about 13% of Caucasians) is associated with lower levels of cholesterol while E4 (carried by about 30% of Africans and African Americans) is associated with higher levels of cholesterol.

One study1 showed that in men with the E3/4 and E3/3 genotypes, there was a positive effect on HDL cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio, which was even more pronounced with the E2/3 genotypes.

Another study2 on the correlation between Cardiovascular fitness and Apo E genotypes concluded that the overall lipid profiles of Apo E3 men and women appear to be affected more by increased Cardiovascular fitness than those of Apo E2 and Apo E4 men and women.

Middle-aged and older Apo E2 genotype men had larger overall plasma lipoprotein-lipid profile improvements with prolonged endurance exercise training than otherwise comparable Apo E3 and Apo E4 genotype men3 .