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 The Apo E Gene Diet is a breakthrough in changing cholesterol, weight, heart and Alzheimer’s Disease using the body’s own genes. The book describes nutritional plans for each Apo E genotype. I recommend it.

— Dr. Andrew Weil

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Overview of the Apo E Gene Diet

The Apo E gene is the number one factor affecting how your body uses “The Big Three” food groups—carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It is extremely important to eat the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins for your specific Apo E genotype because it influences the possibility of developing certain diseases, as well as their severity.

The Apo E Gene Diet is not a diet in the usual sense of the word. We use the word "diet" to mean a series of specific recommendations for individual nutrition and other environmental factors, such as exercise and stress levels, to name a few. The goal of the Apo E Gene Diet is disease prevention and a healthier life.

Introduction to the Apo E Gene

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 genes come in matching pairs, we each have two of every gene, one from each parent. If you received an Apo E 2 from one parent and an Apo E 3 from the other parent, your genotype would be E 2/3. The six possible combinations of Apo E gene pairs are E 2/2, E 2/3, E 3/3, E 4/2, E 4/3, and E 4/4.

How Your Apo E Genotype Affects Your Health

The most common genotype, Apo E 3/3, is found in approximately 64 percent of the population. It is considered the “neutral” Apo E genotype. Combinations that include either the Apo E 2 or Apo E 4 are considered “alternative” expressions of the more common Apo E 3 pairing. About 25% of the population have one or more of the E 4 genes and 12% have one or more of the E 2 genes. People with an Apo E 2 or 4 process foods differently from the Apo E 3s.

Percentage of Apo E Genotypes in the General Population
Apo E 2 2/2 1%
2/3 10%
Apo E 3 3/3 64%
Apo E 4 4/2 2%
4/3 18%
4/4 5%

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.

The Apo E Gene Diet

The foundation of the Apo E Gene Diet is a nutritional plan that focuses on eating the optimal percentages of The Big Three food groups for your specific Apo E genotype. One diet does not fit all because each Apo E genotype processes foods differently. There is a unique optimal combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the ideal diet for each of the six Apo E genotypes. Creating this optimal balance in your diet provides the foundation for your good health.

A personalized plan for your Apo E genotype will guide you in choosing the optimal:

  • fat content with the correct types of fats
  • carbohydrate content with the correct types of carbohydrates
  • protein content with the correct types of proteins
  • caloric content for your needs
  • amount and kind of exercise appropriate for you
  • balance of stress and relaxation in your life
  • mental and emotional environment
  • type of energy and intentions you allow into your life (the spiritual component)

Most of the existing dietary recommendations are based on the assumption that one diet is appropriate for everyone. These diets fail to accomplish long-term weight loss or optimal disease prevention because we are not all the same. In reality, diet and exercise recommendations must be individualized, beginning with a person's genetic foundation.

The Apo E Gene Diet focuses on an individual’s genetic recipe, creating dietary and exercise recommendations for each of the six possible Apo E genotypes. No other program does this. In addition, the Apo E Gene Diet takes into account the whole person (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) in creating a gene-supportive environment that promotes a healthy life, free of chronic illness.

The Optimal Diet and Lifestyle for Your Apo E Genotype

How do you create the optimal diet and lifestyle for your particular Apo E genotype? There are three steps:

  1. First, read The Perfect Gene Diet by Pamela McDonald.
  2. After reading the book, you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to know your Apo E genotype. Finding your Apo E genotype is done through a simple cheek swab test or non-fasting blood test (more information on testing options).
  3. Once you know your Apo E genotype, follow the diet and lifestyle plan outlined in the book for your particular Apo E genotype. Personal guidance is also offered by phone or in person from our staff.

Following these three steps will support you on the path to a healthy life, free of chronic disease.


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Wayne Dyer talks about The Perfect Gene Diet.

About the Author
Pam McDonald Pamela McDonald, NP

Pamela is a leading integrative medicine nurse practitioner, who has devoted her life to the prevention of heart disease and chronic illness by utilizing the body’s own genetic recipe and promoting the use of natural organic whole food.

Pamela was born in Paisley, Scotland, and grew up in the southernmost part of England. She was originally trained at the Royal Hospital of St. Bartholomew’s in London, and then moved to California in 1981.

A nurse practitioner with advanced specialty training in surgery, women’s health care, adult primary care, pediatrics, pediatric obesity, family practice, cardiovascular and heart disease prevention, nutrition, exercise, mind/body medicine, and botanical medicine, Pamela is also educated in allopathic, alternative, and integrative medicine. She is a graduate of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, founded by Andrew Weil, MD.

Pamela lives just outside San Francisco, CA, with her husband, Rick, and their three children. She maintains a private practice as well as evolving and overseeing her Apo E Gene Diet program. Pamela often lectures to public and private groups.