Introduction to the APO E Gene

Pam McDonald and Wayne Dyer

We all have the APO E gene (pronounced by saying each letter, A - P - O - E).  This gene plays a key role in our body's internal environment and influences the development of chronic disease, especially heart and Alzheimer’s disease.  The APO E gene occurs as three variations in humans: APO E 2, APO E 3, and APO E 4.  Since we get one gene from each parent, there are six possible combinations of APO E gene pairs which are 2/2, 2/3, 3/3, 4/2, 4/3, and 4/4.  The most common genotype, APO E 3/3, is found in approximately 64% of the population. It is considered the “neutral” APO E genotype.

Percentage of APO E Genotypes in the General Population:

APO E 2 2/2    1%
APO E 2 2/3    10%
APO E 3 3/3     64%
APO E 4 4/2     2%
APO E 4 4/3     18%
APO E 4 4/4     5%

Combinations that include either the APO E 2 or APO E 4 are considered “alternative” expressions of the more common APO E 3 pairing; and they will process foods differently from the APO E 3's will. 

For optimal health, you need to match your particular genotype with the most gene-supportive environment (GSE) you can create.  You do that through what you eat, how you exercise, and how you respond to stress, which is largely determined by how you think.

The specific pair of APO E genes you inherited from your parents greatly influences your predisposition to certain illnesses, including heart disease, vascular dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and cancer.  For example, persons with the APO E 4/4 genotype could have up to a 90% chance of developing a chronic illness such as Alzheimer's disease.  Maintaining an optimal diet and lifestyle for your particular APO E genotype is known as a "gene-supportive environment" (GSE).  Doing so can dramatically reduce your risk of developing these chronic illnesses. That's why the APO E Gene Diet was created.




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