Choline Could Reverse the Effects of the APOE4 Gene’s Disruption of the Lipid Homeostasis Process in Brain Cells

New insights have been established by MIT researchers that recently concluded a study on the APOE4 gene’s impact on the cellular-based lipid metabolism and the overall stress response. The APOE4 gene is a variant that represents a person’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The study involved the use of yeast cells and cells from the human brain. The researchers found that when the cells are treated with a dietary supplement which is widely available and known as “choline”, the effects of the APOE4 gene – which is that it causes disruptions in the lipid homeostasis process – could be completely reversed.

Anticipation of Clinical Studies

Those involved in this research hope that clinical studies will be conducted on the effects of choline on those that carry the APOE4 gene. The goal is to determine whether or not it could reduce the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. There have been trials to determine the supplement’s effects on general cognition.

Those resulted in mixed results. Those trials were not targeted on people that carry the APOE4 gene. Right now, the research team is using a mouse-specific model that has been engineered with the gene to see if the supplement reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms. Will choline supplements work in humans that have the gene? That is the question.

What Is the APOE4 Gene?

The standard APOE gene aids in providing instructions for the production of a protein that is called “apolipoprotein E”. This combines with fats in the body – which are called “lipids” – to create special molecules that are called “lipoproteins”.

These package up cholesterols and various other types of fats and transport them throughout the bloodstream in the body. The most different versions of the APOE gene are identified as “e2”, “e3”, and “e4”. The APOE4 gene is the one that is most concerning among medical professionals, researchers, and the general population.

APOE4 is the absolute strongest of all genetic-based factors in determining a person’s risk for the development of dementia. If a person has this gene, it does not mean development WILL occur with absolute certainty, but it does indicate that the carrier is at significant risk.

Studies have found that if a person has a problem with the brain cells in the processing of lipids (fats), they may have an increased risk for developing dementia. It is believed that the APOE4 gene results in lipid imbalances that drastically impairs the processes associated with cells. This particular study showed that placing choline in the yeast cells aided in restoring the normal metabolism of lipids.

What Is Choline?

Choline is an essential nutrient that was just recently discovered. The liver is capable of making small amounts, but to avoid a deficiency, choline must come from the foods that you eat. This nutrient helps in cell structure, cell messaging, fat transport, fat metabolism, DNA synthesis, boosting the health of the nervous system, and more!

For Adult women, the dosage recommendation is 425mg each day. For adult men, it is 550 mg. each day. Top food sources of choline include beef and chicken liver, various types of eggs, cauliflower, fresh cod, salmon, fresh broccoli, and soybean oil.

If you want to start on a choline supplement, you should first consult with your doctor. While it appears to be promising in slowing the development of dementia and may be possible to prevent it altogether, this has yet to be established, 100%.

How Do I Test for the APOE4 Gene?

The easiest method for testing for the APOE4 gene is to take the genetic and health tests provided by 23andMe. It is important to understand that the National Institutes of Health has a recommendation of genetic-based testing for APOE status for individuals that have a desire to volunteer for clinical-based trials.

If you do wish to obtain this testing, it is advised that you consider genetic testing. Understanding your risk for the development of dementia is very complicated and genetic counselors may assist you with the results that you receive.

Memory Care Assistance

If you have been diagnosed with dementia, we here at Beacon Senior Advisors can help. Working with you and your loved ones, we can help you prepare for the coming days. Our Senior Advisors will work closely with you to determine your unique needs.

We know this is a very challenging time; however, it is imperative that you plan for your attention. We have the capability of connecting you to professionals that will help you, setting up memory care assistance, and more. To inquire about our services, or to set up an appointment, contact us today by calling: 973-713-0096

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