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Apolipoprotein A-II (APOA2) is an important protein involved in the transport of lipids throughout the blood, and is encoded for by the APOA2 gene 1. APOA2 is the second most abundant of the HDL particles and therefore plays a key role in regulating HDL levels and overall cholesterol metabolism.

There is one SNP in APOA2 which is associated with poorer LDL and HDL outcomes, and potentially altered triglyceride plasma concentration, and therefore with associated cardiovascular and metabolic risks.


Heart Health
rsID Number Major Allele Minor Allele Minor Allele Frequency (%)
rs5082 a g 30

Risk Description

This SNP is one of those interesting variants where the environment in which it is expressed can modulate which direction of effect it has.

The ‘G’ allele of the SNP rs5082 in the APOA2 gene is associated with increased levels of  LDLc and an altered LDL:HDL ratio following saturated fat intake and excessive carbohydrate intake, which is shown by the associated increased risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes 2,3. Interestingly when saturated fat intake was reduced carriers of the ‘G’ allele displayed significantly lowered total cholesterol, triglyceride, Cholesterol/HDL-c ratio and non-HDL cholesterol than A allele carriers, coupled with an almost 50% reduction in risk of developing cardiovascular disease4.

In contrast, we can view the ‘A’ allele as the default allele. In those following a traditional carbohydrate and saturated fat-rich western diet, the ‘A’ allele will present a lower risk than the ‘G’ allele. However, where a more regulated diet is followed, lower in carbohydrate and saturated fat, then the ‘A’ allele can actually be considered more risky.

It has been demonstrated that the ‘G’ allele is associated with reduced expression of APOA2, however, the science linking this reduced expression with altered risk is poorly understood. One study suggested that the effect may be mediated by changes in HDL particle count and type in those carrying the ‘G’ allele. Or that there is a reduction in plasma LDL and triglyceride particle count following a low carb/low saturated fat meal with this beneficial effect being masked when a high carb/high saturated fat diet is followed. However, this effect has not been replicated in other studies,5.

Nutritional Contraindications:*

Ingredient Active Ingredient Effect
Saturated Fat

The ‘G’ allele of the SNP rs5082 in the APOA2 is associated with poorer lipid outcomes, especially in individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, through following a high carbohydrate/high saturated fat diet. However, following a reduction in saturated fat and carbohydrate intake lipid metrics improved beyond those carrying the normal ‘A’ allele 2.

Discuss this information with your doctor before taking any course of action.


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