An intervention study of individual, apoE genotype-based dietary and physical-activity advice: impact on health behavior

J Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics. 2014;7(3):161-74. doi: 10.1159/000371743. Epub 2015 Feb 20.


Aim: To assess the behavioral effects of receiving personal genetic information, using apoE genotypes as a tool for promoting lifestyle changes. apoE was chosen because it has a significant impact on lipid metabolism and cholesterol absorption, both factors in cardiovascular disease.

Methods: This study was a 1-year intervention study of healthy adults aged 20-67 years (n = 107). Their behavioral changes were measured by diet (e.g., fat quality, as well as consumption of vegetables, berries, fruits, and fatty and sugary foods), alcohol consumption, and exercise. Health and taste attitudes were assessed with the Health and Taste Attitude Scales (HTAS). The measurements were performed 4 times: at baseline (T0), as well as 10 weeks (T1), 6 months (T2), and 12 months after baseline (T3). These behavioral effects were assessed for three groups: a high-risk (Ɛ4+; n = 16), a low-risk (Ɛ4-; n = 35), and a control group (n = 56).

Results: Personal genetic information affected health behavior. Dietary fat quality improved more in the Ɛ4+ group than in the Ɛ4- and control groups after personal, genotype-based health advice. This change differed significantly between the Ɛ4+ and the control group (p < 0.05), but only for a short time.

Conclusion: Personal genetic information, based on apoE, may affect dietary fat quality. More research is required to determine how to utilize genotype-based health information and how to efficiently achieve long-term changes in the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Young Adult


  • Apolipoproteins E