Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

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Julie G
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Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby Julie G » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:48 am

I just stumbled upon an interesting paper out of China suggesting that E4 carriers with MCI had the lowest quartile of retinol (vitamin A). There’s lots of fascinating correlations in this gem. (For clarity, “α-TOH” refers to alpha-Tocopherol or vitamin E.)
Among MCI subjects, ApoE4 subjects have the highest serum TC, TG, LDL-C, α-TOH levels and VE/VA ratio (α-TOH/retinol and γ-TOH/retinol). The lowest serum HDL-C, retinol and lipid-adjusted retinol levels were also found in ApoE4 subjects. ApoE4 subjects also demonstrated the lowest visual-spatial and executive, naming, attention, language, memory and delayed recall, orientation abilities and total MoCA score. The lowest daily vegetable and fish intakes were also observed in ApoE4 subjects.

Interestingly, E4 carriers with MCI also had the highest levels of Vitamin E. Apparently, a high level of vitamin A with a low level of vitamin E predicted the best cognition for our genotype.

The authors attempted to draw diet correlations and found that a low levels of vegetables predicted low Vitamin A which is interesting given that vegetables only contain the precursor, beta-carotene. Many Europeans (including myself) have variations of the BCMO1 gene which cause a 30% to 70% decrease in the amount of vitamin A that we get from beta-carotene. As such, I’ve been supplementing with a daily 1/2 tsp of cod liver oil and a small amount of grass-fed liverwurst several times a week. I was unable to determine if the Chinese shared a similar level of poor conversion of beta-carotene to Vitamin A.

You may be able to check your SNPs through 23andMe, depending upon which chip you’re using:

rs7501331
CC: normal
CT: decreased beta-carotene conversion
TT: decreased beta-carotene conversion

rs12934922
AA: normal
AT: decreased beta-carotene conversion
TT: decreased beta-carotene conversion

Three other variants that are found near the BCMO1 gene have also been shown in a small study to affect the rate of conversion by about 50%
* rs11645428 – GG has lower beta-carotene conversion
* rs6420424 – AA has lower beta-carotene conversion
* rs6564851 – GG has lower beta-carotene conversion

Diminished circulating retinol and elevated α-TOH/retinol ratio predict an increased risk of cognitive decline in aging Chinese adults, especially in subjects with ApoE2 or ApoE4 genotype
https://www.aging-us.com/article/101694/text

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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby tonychar » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:14 pm

This is very interesting for Vit A! Also I always thought of vitamin E as an antioxidant, but I guess too high levels is not ideal?



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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby xactly » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:19 am

Thanks for posting this. I have several of the SNPs that reduce beta carotene conversion, and I didn't know about them until I read this thread. I did a Vitamin A test as part of a Genova Diagnostics NutrEval panel a year ago, and it said I was borderline on Vitamin A at the time. I recently started supplementing with Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. multivitamin. If I'm reading the label right, I'm getting about 1000 IUs of A in retinol form (Vitamin A acetate), and the remaining Vitamin A in the capsule (about 2750 IU) is in beta carotene form.

Consumer Labs says the daily requirement for Vitamin A is 900 mcg in the beta carotene form (or 3000 IU in the retinol form). They say Americans are more likely to consume too much Vitamin A than not enough. They also say consuming more than that can cause problems, although it's safe when consumed in fruits and vegetables.

I'll try to retest this in January as part of my annual physical. Seems like this is a really important nutrient to keep in balance.

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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby CarrieS » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:59 am

Back in Sept 2017, I ran my raw genetic data through Ben Lynch's Strategene and it came back suggesting Vitamin A supplementation due to various SNPs. Turns out, I hit the jackpot and have all of the SNPs Julie mentioned above for decreased beta-carotene conversion. I've been supplementing since 2017 (added PE Vitamin A derived from Norwegian Cod Liver Oil to my routine that already includes a PE O.N.E. capsule) but haven't tested to see what my levels are.

Thank you Julie for posting the information on Vitamin A as it has helped make some sense as to why I was alerted to supplement with it.
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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby SoCalGuy » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:45 am

Thanks for sharing this Julie! I am TT for the rs12934922 SNP. I appear to not be deficient in any of the others. A big part of why I eat sweet potato is that they are absolutely loaded with vitamin A. 1 cup of sweet potato has nearly 19,000 IU of Vitamin A.

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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby Julie G » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:40 am

Thanks for sharing this Julie! I am TT for the rs12934922 SNP. I appear to not be deficient in any of the others. A big part of why I eat sweet potato is that they are absolutely loaded with vitamin A. 1 cup of sweet potato has nearly 19,000 IU of Vitamin A.

Happy to help! I think this may be important for us. My understanding is that a cup of sweet potato actually has no vitamin A. The conversion from beta-carotene to Vitamin A happens in your body and TT means that you convert poorly. Maybe higher amounts of beta-carotene will get the job done? Foods like liver and cod liver oil have actual vitamin A.

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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby SoCalGuy » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:52 pm

Julie G wrote:
Thanks for sharing this Julie! I am TT for the rs12934922 SNP. I appear to not be deficient in any of the others. A big part of why I eat sweet potato is that they are absolutely loaded with vitamin A. 1 cup of sweet potato has nearly 19,000 IU of Vitamin A.

Happy to help! I think this may be important for us. My understanding is that a cup of sweet potato actually has no vitamin A. The conversion from beta-carotene to Vitamin A happens in your body and TT means that you convert poorly. Maybe higher amounts of beta-carotene will get the job done? Foods like liver and cod liver oil have actual vitamin A.

Thanks for the clarification. I will have to get my vitamin A levels tested as this is something I have never done.

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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby floramaria » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:43 pm

ah...good news : I have been doing something right, getting benefits for a problem I didn't even know I had until i read this thread and checked my results on Promethease. Have homogeneous SNPs for all except the rs12934922.
But I have been regularly nipping at cod liver oil for at least a decade.
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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby Indywoman » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:53 pm

Took a while off from this site due to holiday craziness, but have returned and am binge reading December's posts. Whew!
Julie, thank you so much for posting this, and found I am positive for two of the three snp's. The thought of taking cod liver oil or liverwurst as a vegan makes me dry-heave just thinking about it, so would need to look for an alternative. A few questions. Has anyone on this forum gotten their vitamin A tested before taking any vitamin A supplement or e.g using cod liver oil, then tested later to see if A levels rose? Are you doing this Julie? Also, any ideas on ways to get more A without liver or liver extracts? It would be interesting to see how these snp's play out with macular degeneration as well.
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Re: Vitamin A protects cognition in E4 carriers

Postby apod » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:48 am

Fascinating study!

I'd love to try to quantify my retinol lab values sometime. I eat a lot of dark leafy greens for the precursors, but that's about it as far as my intake goes. I remember in the past feeling like I had to be on the high end for omega-3, but after testing, come to find out I was running on the low side. Then, when I thought I was running low on iron, I tested on the medium to high side. While supplementing whey + BCAAs and thinking my IGF1 would run on the high side, again, come to find out I tested on the lowest end. This has taught me the value of testing things I'm interested in actually trying to assess.

I've read that Chris Masterjohn is a proponent of supplementing extra A. I've never been quite sure where to dial it in for a safe bump.

I'm C/C @ rs7501331 (Normal), AT @ rs12934922 (Lower Production), and GT / AT at the other mentioned SNPs.


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