We will look at recent news regarding cholesterol – a promising new cholesterol drug, and news about how cholesterol could predict cancer and save people from heart disease.
The fact that healthy cholesterol levels are vital to health and that an imbalance there could indicate health problems; predict even more serious ones is well known one and recent findings confirm this.
New cholesterol drug may lower cholesterol by 66%
People suffering from unhealthy cholesterol levels who are already taking statins (the primary cholesterol lowering drug) now have some good news – an experimental new drug could further reduce cholesterol by as much as 66% even among those who are already on medication.
This is a new cholesterol lowering strategy that works by blocking a protein called PCSK9. A study involving 145 cholesterol patients who were on statins and their reactions to the new drug were examined.
The improvements in cholesterol levels of those taking the new drug were found to be impressive.
Even after the tapering off of the drug, thecholesterol level improvements were maintained.
So far no serious side effects have been noted in the clinical trials, a fact that could hearten sufferers of high cholesterol.
Low (bad) cholesterol can predict cancer
Researchers have found that lower levels of bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or LDL) can possibly predict cancer. Researchers think that the same mechanism that could affect a person’s cancer risk could also affect a person’s cholesterol levels.
This finding however has been described as preliminary since the connection between low LDL levels and lower heart disease risk is well known.
Though the connection between statins and cancer has been closely examined, the cause or link is not proved beyond doubt. This is the first time that the link between LDL and cancer has been examined without bringing cholesterol drugs into the equation.
HDL (good) cholesterol can prevent coronary disease
Professor Kastelein, chairman of the genetics of cardiovascular disease at the University of Amsterdam had found what a profound effect low levels of HDL in the blood could have on a person’s chances of having heart disease.
In the past, he had found how a patient who had a gene mutation that suppressed the production of HDL altogether suffered a serious heart attack. The Professor then devised a way to eliminate LDL from the patient’s body so that the lack of HDL could be compensated for.