Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Researchers find gene that reduces bad cholesterol

Swedish scientists from the Karolinksa Institute have now identified a gene that reduces levels of bad cholesterol and combats atherosclerosis - a condition brought about by thickening of inner walls of arteries carrying blood to the heart.

Research conducted on mice has found that the build up of the plaque that causes myocardial infarction and stroke can be prevented if the levels of the "bad" LDL cholesterol are reduced before atherosclerotic plaque has progressed beyond a certain point.

Johan Bjorkegren, the leader of the study stated: "Previously, much atherosclerosis research was focussed on identifying ways to stabilise the most dangerous plaques in order to prevent them rupturing and causing myocardial infarction or stroke"

But now, they have also been able to identify a network of 37 genes that actually lowers levels of blood cholesterol and brings about beneficial effect.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Please Explain Cholesterol!

To better control your high cholesterol, you really should understand what cholesterol is and how it works. Here is a start:

"Cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance produced in the liver and used by the body to make cell membranes, hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and other substances. Cholesterol is carried throughout the body in packages called lipoproteins, which have lipids (fat) on the inside and protein on the outside.

The body makes all the cholesterol it needs but takes in extra, mostly from fatty foods....." For more info see main article: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/health/stories/2007/09/17/1A_CHOLESTEROL.ART_ART_09-17-07_D1_EO7TEHP.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101

For more similar information and self help suggestions, check out the directories under the links at the side of the page.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Difference between cholesterol, triglycerides

Here is another interesting question I found whilst researching cholesterol this week. Things get so complicated, its nice to have an explanation in real lingo! For similar questions, answers and latest research, see the "Cholesterol Directory" under 'My Favorite Links'.

"Q. I just had my blood work done. My cholesterol is fine but my triglycerides are high.

Can you explain what the difference is and what could make the one be high and the other not?

A. Cholesterol and triglycerides are two forms of fat. Both of them are necessary for life itself. One of the functions of cholesterol is to build cell membranes and several essential hormones.

Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They are also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.

In "my" language: triglycerides are a form of fat carried through the blood stream. When you eat, your body converts any calories it does not need at that moment and stores it as triglycerides."

For more info and article source see: http://www.salisburypost.com/lifestyle/344415385622066.php

Thursday, January 24, 2008

So you want to control cholesterol levels without medication? Read on.

Doctors and patients look for a quick fix to lower cholesterol. Powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs are popular because they work.

But, popping a pill isn't the only option.

Watching your diet has still proven scientifically effective. Some foods are known to lower cholesterol, but alone, they only lower it by about five-percent. There are other things that can help too, such as exercise and controlling stress levels. For more information on news and research regarding this, check out the 'Health Directory' under "My Favourite Links".

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Oatmeal cholesterol claims stronger

Well, I must have read it on the box a million times, but here's the proof! Read it for yourself.

Source: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/170935.html
"The link between oatmeal and cholesterol reduction is stronger than initially believed, a U.S. review found.

Study co-author Dr. James W. Anderson of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine analyzed studies conducted during the past 15 years on oatmeal and cholesterol and found without exception total cholesterol levels were lower after oat consumption. In addition, low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the "bad" cholesterol is reduced without adverse effects on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL, the "good" cholesterol, or triglyceride concentrations.

"Whole-grain products like oatmeal are among some of the best foods one can eat to improve cholesterol levels, in addition to other lifestyle choices," Anderson said in a statement. "Lifestyle choices, such as diet, should be the first line of therapy for most patients with moderate cholesterol risk given the expense, safety concerns, and intolerance related to cholesterol lowering drugs."

Anderson co-authored the comprehensive research review with Mark Andon, a researcher and nutrition director for Quaker-Tropicana."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

High triglycerides, other cholesterol raise risk of stroke

Bad cholesterol (LDL) is, according to new research, not the only type of cholesterol that contributes to high risk of stroke. Read this article and see your doctor if you want to get yourself checked out.

Article source: http://www.news-medical.net/?id=33795

"People with high triglycerides and another type of cholesterol tested but not usually evaluated as part of a person's risk assessment have an increased risk of a certain type of stroke, according to research published in the December 26, 2007, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"LDL or 'bad' cholesterol has been the primary target for reducing the risk of stroke, but these results show that other types of cholesterol may be more strongly linked with stroke risk," said study author Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, of UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, and member of the American Academy of Neurology.

The researchers analyzed the records of 1,049 people admitted to a university hospital with a stroke or mini-stroke over four years."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New strategy to cut heart attack risk is effective in initial test

Id you are taking statins to control your cholesterol levels, you should read this article that I found released this week. They are trialling a different type of drug to help drop levels of LDL and it could be great for those who are not tolerating the statins very well. Here is part of the article. Check out the link for more information or click on the "Health Directory", one of my favourite links for similar articles.

Article Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-12/uoc--nst121407.php

"The first clinical trial of a new kind of drug to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease has been found safe and effective at dropping levels of (bad) low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by as much as 40 percent. High LDL levels increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.

The drug mimics the action of thyroid hormone and safely accelerates the hormone's natural ability to rid the body of LDL. It is unrelated in structure or action to statins, the widely used class of drugs to lower cholesterol, and may offer an alternative for patients who cannot tolerate statins, according to the research team. It might also complement the use of statins to further decrease cholesterol levels, the researchers report in "The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS).

Someone suffers a heart attack about every 30 seconds in the U.S., yet the best drug trials using statins show that the drugs reduce the incidence of new heart attacks and other coronary events by only about 35 percent, highlighting the need for new therapies, the scientists say."