How to Improve your apoB/apoA-1 ratio (and Why it’s Important)

The apoB to apoA-1 ratio is an important predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. In fact, it is a stronger predictor of CVD risk than even LDL, HDL, total cholesterol or triglycerides.

What are apoA-1 and apoB and why are they important to my health?

ApoA-1 is a constituent of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is anti-atherogenic (reduces plaque formation). Apo B is a constituent of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), helping LDL to do its job. Think of these A and B proteins like the stitching of a baseball.

Too many Apo B can be a bad sign, and when oxidized (damaged), involved in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, apoA-1 is a protective molecule that acts as an antioxidant and lowers inflammation (Source). The more Apo A, the lower the risk of CVD.

The apoB/apoA-1 ratio has been linked to risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious cardiovascular disorders (Source). Additionally, high apoB levels can be indicative of elevated levels of small, dense LDL particles, which are the most prone to oxidation and plaque development (Source). The balance between apoB and apoA-1 is what determines cardiovascular risk. The higher the ratio, the higher the risk.

Is your cardiologist checking your apoB/apoA-1 ratio? They should be. If not, it may be time for a trip to Arizona to see Dr. Wolfson. This advanced type of cardiac testing is what is needed to get to the root of the problem and heal cardiovascular disease.

What are the risk factors that increase likelihood of an abnormal apoB/ apo-A1 ratio?

  1. Obesity from high sugar, high carbohydrate diets
  2. Lack of sunshine
  3. Lack of sleep
  4. Smoking and environmental pollution
  5. Stress
  6. Low physical activity

What should I do?

  1. 1. Eat a Paleo diet

    The Paleo diet is rich in antioxidants, micronutrients, anti-inflammatory compounds and omega 3 fatty acids that regulate lipid levels. It is also naturally low in processed carbohydrates, which is a risk factor for abnormal lipids. The Paleo diet helps to boost apoA levels naturally.

    Read more about why the Paleo diet is the best diet for heart health.

  2. 2. Increase soluble fiber intake

    Here are the top 10 foods to increase fiber intake for heart health.

    There is research to suggest that soluble fiber intake, such as that of psyllium husk, decreases apoB secretion and turnover and lowers apoB levels as a result (Source). Avocados, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are all also rich in soluble fiber.

  3. 3. Use only heart-healthy cooking oils

    Using the right type of dietary oils is essential to regulating your blood lipid levels. Our recommended heart-healthy cooking oils like coconut oil, ghee, and animal fat while saving avocado oil, olive oil, sesame oil and walnut oil for salad dressing etc. They have the right fatty acid profiles to boost apoA levels and thus lower apoB levels.

    Get rid of processed, hydrogenated oils. Eliminate all unhealthy forms of oils and your heart will be better off.

  4. 4. Increase cruciferous vegetables intake

    Indole-based compounds, which are predominant in cruciferous vegetables, have a protective effect on the apoB/apoA-1 ratio. Research has shown that indole-3-carbinol (an indole glucosinolate) from cruciferous plants can inhibit apoB excretion (Source). Our Daily Defense powder (also mentioned below in our protocol recommendations) is one of the best sources of this cruciferous compound as it contains a good amount of the potent broccoli seed extract.

    There are many health benefits to consuming cruciferous vegetables (rich in indole glucosinolates) on CVD risk.

  5. 5. Decrease sugar consumption

    Increased sugar intake is a major risk factor for abnormal blood lipid levels and cardiovascular disorders. In fact, a study published in 2017 in Nutrients found that added sugars in the diet predicted significant increases in apoB levels and had negative effects on the apoB/apo-A1 ratio (Source).

  6. 6. Increase sunshine exposure

    When the sun’s rays hit your skin, they convert cholesterol precursors to vitamin D. This is the body’s natural way of naturally regulating blood lipid levels. Sunshine has been proven to lower and regulate cholesterol levels. This is why individuals who live farther away from the equator and get less sun experience higher cholesterol levels and an increased risk for cardiac events.

  7. 7. Get more sleep

    A recent study found that short sleep duration (less than 6 hours per night) was associated with elevated apoB levels (Source). The study also reported that increased sleep duration was linked to a decreased risk for elevated apoB levels (Source). Focus on sleep for heart health.

    There are many natural treatment remedies to improve sleep quality and duration.

  8. 8. Increase exercise

    A study found that physical exercise significantly reduces apoB concentrations and apoB/apoA-1 ratio (Source). This study also found that regular physical fitness can actually increase LDL particle size, another protective mechanism to lower one’s risk for atherosclerosis (Source).

    Much of the damage to the heart that has accrued for years can be undone with regular exercise.

What supplements should I take?

We recommend a natural protocol for lowering apoB/apoA-1 ratios. This protocol includes the following supplements (along with a Paleo diet and adherence to the recommendations above):

For more information about cholesterol and how to find the best numbers for you, watch this video The Truth About Cholesterol.

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