Low LDL cholesterol throughout life and a decreased risk of heart disease? Sign me up! No, this isn’t the latest pill from a pharmaceutical company, but a genetic variant that some people have.
The PCSK9 gene codes for an enzyme that is important in controlling the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Some people carry a genetic variant in the PCSK9 gene that decreases their cholesterol levels. This is also associated with a decreased risk of heart disease!
Check your genetic data for rs11591147 R46L (23andMe v4, v5):
- G/G: typical
- G/T: decreased LDL-cholesterol, 30% lower risk of heart disease[ref][ref]
- T/T: decreased LDL-cholesterol, > 30% lower risk of heart disease
Members: Your genotype for rs11591147 is —.
Want to learn more about other PCSK9 genetic variants? Check out the full article on PCSK9.
*SNP stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, which is when one of the nucleotide bases (the A, C, G, or Ts) is replaced by a different nucleotide base in a gene.
Want more quick bits about your genes? Read through all the Snips about SNPs.