Impact of diet and exercise on proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9: A mini-review

Vascul Pharmacol. 2016 Dec;87:10-13. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2016.10.003. Epub 2016 Oct 13.


Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin 9 (PCSK9) plays an important role in the regulation of blood cholesterol levels, and inhibition of PCSK9 with monoclonal antibodies reduces LDL cholesterol by more than 50% over and above what can be achieved with statins or ezetimibe alone. Diet and exercise influence PCSK9 levels; however data on this issue are scarce. Regarding diet, a high oleic canola/docosahexaenoic acid oil blend, marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, vegetable n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, a Mediterranean style diet and acute fasting, but not necessarily weight reduction are associated with low PCSK9 concentrations, whereas a high fructose diet is associated with high PCSK9 concentrations. Animal data regarding the effect of diet on PCSK9 must be interpreted with caution, because even between rodent species, significant differences become apparent. Regarding exercise, a decrease in PCSK9 has been reported in one investigation along with an intervention promoting active use of stairs rather than elevators. Reports from sparse animal studies regarding the effect of exercise on PCSK9 have yielded varying results.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diet*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors
  • Proprotein Convertase 9 / metabolism*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors
  • Cholesterol
  • Proprotein Convertase 9