Quercetin Benefits Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Metabolism in Apo E 3/3 Genotype

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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We are entering a new era of nutritional science, one in which we can now begin to understand the relationship of nutrition and our genetic function.  A novel study from German researchers has shown for the first time that in healthy men with an Apo E 3/3 genotype 150 mg a day of quercetin could lower their systolic blood pressure 5.7 points and boost their protective HDL cholesterol by 4.5%, while helping to shrink their waistlines. 

Apolipoproteins enable your body to transport fatty substances like cholesterol and triglycerides around the watery systems of your body (lymphatic and circulatory systems).  The protein part of the structure surrounds the fatty part, enabling it to become water-soluble and thus move around.  An important type of apolipoprotein is apolipoprotein E (Apo E), which binds to your liver and is needed to naturally break down and clear out the fatty triglycerides that it carries.  If Apo E malfunctions then triglycerides and cholesterol can build up in your blood and set metabolic problems into motion.

There are three genetic variants of Apo E in humans known as Apo E 2, Apo E 3, and Apo E 4.  You have probably heard that those with Apo E 4 are more at risk for cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s.  Each of us gets one allele of the Apo E gene from each parent.  This study looked at men with the Apo E 3/3 genotype, meaning they got one Apo E 3 from each parent.  This is the most common form of Apo E in humans, accounting for 65% of the population.

This study found that a relatively low dose of quercetin (150 mg per day) had a significant benefit for men with Apo E 3/3, but not for men with Apo E4 (as least at the dose tested).  Quercetin is found in fruits and vegetables, thus a person actually eating five servings per day may readily get 150 mg of quercetin per day in their diet, which is one reason eating a good diet is vital to health.

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