How To Lower ApoB: A Complete Guide to Reduce ApoB

Apob, also known as apolipoprotein B, is a protein that is associated with LDL cholesterol. High levels of Apob can increase the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. To lower Apob levels, it is important to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Here I will give you clear steps to reduce your levels and helpful tips for improving your overall health.

What Is ApoB?

Apolipoprotein B (ApoB) is a protein that forms the structural backbone of VLDL, IDL, and LDL lipoproteins. It helps transport fats and cholesterol around the blood and is essential for liver cells to remove LDL from circulation.

ApoB is a measure of total non-HDL lipoproteins in the blood. It is primarily associated with lipoproteins, particles that transport lipids (such as cholesterol and triglycerides) through the bloodstream.

Let’s check out some of the lipoproteins of ApoB:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): (ApoB-100) is the primary protein constituent of LDL particles. It is often referred to as “bad cholesterol” because elevated levels in the blood are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL): Apolipoprotein B-100 is also present in VLDL particles. VLDL is produced in the liver and carries triglycerides, cholesterol, and other lipids synthesized in the liver to peripheral tissues. In the bloodstream, VLDL particles transform, eventually leading to the formation of LDL particles.

Intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL): IDL particles are derived from very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) through the action of lipoprotein lipase, which removes triglycerides from VLDL. IDL particles are considered intermediate between VLDL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in terms of their composition and function. 

Different Types Of ApoB

There are two forms of apoB: apoB-100 and apoB-48.

ApoB-100

ApoB-100 is synthesized in the liver and is an integral component of LDL particles. It functions as a ligand for LDL receptors, allowing the uptake of LDL particles by cells that require cholesterol.

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

ApoB-48

ApoB-48, on the other hand, is produced in the intestine due to intestinal lipoprotein synthesis. It is a truncated form of apoB-100 and is found in chylomicrons, which are lipoprotein particles responsible for transporting dietary fats (triglycerides) from the intestine to other tissues.

Measuring ApoB levels in the blood can provide information about the number of atherogenic lipoprotein particles.

It is considered a more accurate indicator of cardiovascular risk compared to measuring total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol alone.

Low ApoB Levels

Your test results indicate low levels of apoB. This could indicate an underlying condition affecting lipoprotein production. Conditions include Reye syndrome, overactive thyroid, malnutrition, liver cirrhosis, and severe sickness.

Additionally, Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome, a rare genetic condition, can cause apolipoprotein B deficiency.

Your doctor may compare your apoB levels to apoA levels, which is an apolipoprotein linked to good cholesterol. If your apoB levels are higher than apoA, you may be at a greater risk for heart disease.

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Natural Ways To Lower Your ApoB

Basically, work with your doctor to determine the cause of high ApoB levels and address any underlying conditions. Collaborate with your doctor to develop a plan for reducing ApoB levels.

In general, making lifestyle and dietary changes can lower “bad” cholesterol, increase “good” cholesterol, and effectively decrease ApoB levels.

When discussing the strategies below with your doctor, remember they should supplement your doctor’s recommendations, not replace them!

Now take some looks at the ways to reduce your ApoB.

Dietary Changes:

  • Reduce Saturated and Trans Fats: Minimize your intake of foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as fatty meats, processed foods, and fried items. These fats can increase ApoB levels.
  • Increase Healthy Fats: Consume more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in foods like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish. These fats may help lower ApoB levels.
  • Soluble Fiber: Include foods rich in soluble fiber like oats, barley, legumes, and fruits (e.g., apples, citrus fruits) as they can help lower cholesterol levels, including ApoB.
  • Plant Sterols and Stanols: Foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols, such as some margarine and orange juice, can help reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Incorporate sources of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, chia seeds, and walnuts into your diet. They may have a beneficial effect on ApoB levels.

Do Regular Exercise:

Engaging in regular physical activity can help improve your cholesterol profile, including reducing ApoB levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.

Weight Management:

A healthy diet and good exercise can help you lose weight and lower your ApoB levels if you are overweight or fat.

Quit Smoking:

Smoking can negatively affect cholesterol levels, so quitting smoking is beneficial for improving your overall cardiovascular health, including ApoB levels.

Limit Alcohol Consumption:

Excessive alcohol consumption can raise triglyceride levels and contribute to ApoB elevation. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Stress Management:

Chronic stress can impact cholesterol levels. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature.

Sleep :

Sufficient sleep is essential for overall health, including maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Inadequate sleep, typically defined as less than 6 hours per night, has been associated with higher levels of ApoB.

Several studies have shown a correlation between insufficient sleep and adverse changes in cholesterol metabolism. Lack of sleep can disrupt normal metabolic processes and lead to imbalances in lipid profiles, including increased levels of ApoB.

Benefits of Lowering Apob

Lowering Apob levels in the body has numerous benefits that can greatly improve one’s overall health. 

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease: When ApoB levels are high, LDL cholesterol can accumulate in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease. Lowering ApoB helps prevent this buildup and protects the heart.
  • Improves cholesterol levels: ApoB is responsible for transporting LDL cholesterol, often called “bad” cholesterol. Reducing ApoB can lower LDL cholesterol levels, benefiting cardiovascular health.
  • Promotes healthy blood vessels: Elevated ApoB levels can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by the hardening and narrowing of blood vessels. Lowering ApoB helps maintain the integrity of blood vessels and improves blood flow.
  • Supports weight management: ApoB is associated with the metabolism of fats. It can help regulate fat metabolism and promote healthy weight management.
  • Reduces inflammation: High ApoB levels are linked to increased inflammation in the body. Lowering ApoB can help decrease inflammation, which is beneficial for various health conditions.
  • Enhanced lipid profile: Lower ApoB levels contribute to a healthier cholesterol balance in our bloodstream.
  • Protection against stroke: Lower ApoB is linked to a reduced likelihood of stroke, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Better management of high blood pressure: It can complement hypertension treatment, promoting better blood pressure control.
  • Improved energy levels: We may experience higher energy levels and increased stamina with improved cardiovascular health.
  • Long-term health benefits: By addressing ApoB levels, we can work towards a healthier future and potentially increase our lifespan.
  • Enhanced well-being: Lowering ApoB can lead to a sense of well-being and reduced anxiety about heart-related issues.
  • Support for other healthy habits: It can complement a healthy diet and regular exercise, amplifying their positive effects on our health.

Expert Tips: Lowering apoB levels through lifestyle changes like adopting a healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Average Number For ApoB Test

For low-risk individuals, it’s recommended to have an apoB of less than 100 mg/dL. If you’re at high-risk, like having cardiovascular disease or diabetes, aim for less than 80 mg/dL.

Standard lipid blood tests usually don’t include ApoB numbers, but that’s okay. Non-HDL cholesterol numbers are often included, and they reflect your ApoBs.

7 Foods You Can Eat To Lower ApoB

As you know, gigh ApoB levels increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. To lower your ApoB levels, you can incorporate the following foods into your diet:

  1. Fatty fish: Include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower ApoB levels and reduce inflammation.
  • Fiber-rich foods: Increase your fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Fiber helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels and can indirectly lower ApoB.
  • Nuts and seeds: Incorporate almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and other nuts and seeds into your diet. They contain healthy fats and plant sterols to help lower LDL cholesterol and ApoB.
  • Olive oil: Use it as your primary cooking oil. It contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can improve cholesterol levels, including ApoB.
  • Avocados: Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats and fiber. They can help lower LDL cholesterol and ApoB levels.
  • Soy products: Include soy-based foods like tofu, tempeh, and edamame. They contain plant compounds called isoflavones, which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and ApoB.
  • Green tea: Drink green tea regularly. It contains antioxidants and catechins that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Sterol-enriched foods: Look for foods fortified with plant sterols or stanols. These compounds can help block the absorption of cholesterol and reduce ApoB levels. Examples include certain margarine, yogurt, and orange juice.

Wrap Up

So there you have it. Reducing your levels of ApoB is essential in improving your heart health and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Changing your diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, getting enough sleep, and taking necessary medications are all proven methods of reducing your ApoB levels.

However, if you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels or have a family history of heart disease, ensure you take these steps to protect your heart. 

John Harvey
John Harvey

John Harvey M.D., M.P.H. is the Director of VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a Professor at T.H Chan School of Public Health . As an Internal Medicine physician at Boston Healthcare System, I aim to improve healthcare quality and costs through policy-focused research. I earned my M.D. and M.P.H. from Harvard, and completed fellowships at University of California, San Francisco.

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