The APOA5 gene codes for the APOA5 molecule. This molecule plays an important role in regulating blood triglyceride levels. FitnessGenes test for a variation of the APOA5 gene which affect levels of the APOA5 molecule in the blood and suggest some dietary choices to control blood triglyceride levels.


Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you carry none, one or two versions of a particular gene variant that has been associated with higher levels of triglycerides in the blood when eating a particular diet. This gene is connected to the levels of APOA5 in the bloodstream. Those with lower levels of the APOA5 molecule have an increased risk of high triglyceride levels in the bloodstream when consuming a high polyunsaturated fat diet. This has been confirmed by several research studies.

Global population distribution:

Source: 1000 Genome Project. Global averages for both sexes

APOA5: AA

71%

APOA5: GA

26%

APOA5: GG

3%

More about APOA5

LEARN MORE ABOUT APOA5: A GENE FOR

BLOOD TRIGLYCERIDE LEVELS Your FitnessGenes result tells you whether you carry none, one or two versions of a particular gene variant that has been associated with higher levels of triglycerides in the blood when eating a particular diet. This gene is connected to the levels of APOA5 in the bloodstream. Those with lower levels of the APOA5 molecule have an increased risk of high triglyceride levels in the bloodstream when consuming a high polyunsaturated fat diet. This has been confirmed by several research studies.

STUDIES OF THE APOA5 GENE

In mice, a deficiency of the APOA5 molecule, is also associated with increased blood TG levels. A human study found that carriers of the G allele had higher fasting triglycerides when consuming a high PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) diet (greater than 6% of total energy). There was no difference seen in blood triglyceride levels between those with and without the G allele when a diet low in PUFA (less than 6% of total energy) was consumed. In the same study when the different types of PUFA were considered (omega 6 and omega 3 are the main ones in our diets), only high amounts of omega 6 (>5% of total energy) caused an increase in blood triglycerides in G allele carriers. In comparison, increasing omega-3 does not cause high blood triglyceride in carriers of this variant.

DIETARY ADVICE FOR A MORE BALANCED OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 RATIO

The simplest way to get a better balance of omega-6 to omega-3 is to firstly reduce the amount of omega-6 in your diet. Although some whole foods such as avocados are high in omega-6, they have other healthy nutrients that mean they should not be avoided. Instead, it is better to avoid food and food products which have high amounts of omega-6 but very few additional benefits. Some examples of foods to avoid are vegetable oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil and sesame oil. Avoid using these during cooking by either using alternative oils (coconut oil, olive oil) or grilling/ baking/ boiling instead of frying. You should also avoid or reduce the amount of processed food consumed where these oils have been added: this includes many cakes, biscuits, cookies, chocolates, pastries and deep fried fast food. Nuts including peanuts, almonds and especially walnuts are also high in omega-6 and should be limited and enjoyed as snacks rather than consumed in large quantities. Reducing the amount of meat you eat, especially processed meat, could also help, although to a much lesser extent compared to avoiding oils high in omega-6.

The second thing you can do is to increase the amount of omega-3 in your diet by eating fish once or twice a week. Salmon, sardines and mackerel are all good choices. Alternatively if you do not enjoy eating fish you could supplement your diet with fish oil (either liquid or capsules) that is high in EPA / DHA (these are omega-3’s). There are also omega-3 (EPA/DHA) supplements which are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. For more information on nutrition, you can refer to the Nutrition Strategies section of your Action Blueprint.

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