Skip to comments.Super-sticky 'ultra-bad' cholesterol revealed in people at high risk of heart disease
Posted on 05/27/2011 5:19:08 AM PDT by decimon
Scientists from the University of Warwick have discovered why a newly found form of cholesterol seems to be 'ultra-bad', leading to increased risk of heart disease. The discovery could lead to new treatments to prevent heart disease particularly in people with type 2 diabetes and the elderly.
The research, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), found that 'ultrabad' cholesterol, called MGmin-low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is more common in people with type 2 diabetes and the elderly, appears to be 'stickier' than normal LDL. This makes it more likely to attach to the walls of arteries. When LDL attaches to artery walls it helps form the dangerous 'fatty' plaques' that cause coronary heart disease (CHD).
CHD is the condition behind heart attacks, claiming 88,000 lives in the UK every year (1).
The researchers made the discovery by creating human MGmin-LDL in the laboratory, then studying its characteristics and interactions with other important molecules in the body.
They found that MGmin-LDL is created by the addition of sugar groups to 'normal' LDL a process called glycation making LDL smaller and denser. By changing its shape, the sugar groups expose new regions on the surface of the LDL. These exposed regions are more likely to stick to artery walls, helping to build fatty plaques. As fatty plaques grow they narrow arteries - reducing blood flow - and they can eventually rupture, triggering a blood clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
The discovery might also explain why metformin, a widely prescribed type 2 diabetes drug, seems to lead to reduced heart disease risk. Metformin is known to lower blood sugar levels, and this new research shows it may reduce the risk of CHD by blocking the transformation of normal LDL to the more 'sticky' MGmin-LDL.
Dr Naila Rabbani, Associate Professor of Experimental Systems Biology at Warwick Medical School, who led the study, said:
"We're excited to see our research leading to a greater understanding of this type of cholesterol, which seems to contribute to heart disease in diabetics and elderly people. Type 2 diabetes is a big issue of the 2.6 million diabetics in the UK, around 90 per cent have type 2. It's also particularly common in lower income groups and South Asian communities. (2, 3)
"The next challenge is to tackle this more dangerous type of cholesterol with treatments that could help neutralise its harmful effects on patients' arteries."
Dr Shannon Amoils, Research Advisor at the BHF, which funded the study, said:
"We've known for a long time that people with diabetes are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke. There is still more work to be done to untangle why this is the case, but this study is an important step in the right direction.
"This study shows how the make-up and the shape of a type of LDL cholesterol found in diabetics could make it more harmful than other types of LDL. The findings provide one possible explanation for the increased risk of coronary heart disease in people with diabetes.
"Understanding exactly how 'ultrabad' LDL damages arteries is crucial, as this knowledge could help develop new anti-cholesterol treatments for patients."
The research was published in the journal Diabetes.
For more information please call Kate Cox, Communications Manager, Warwick Medical School on +44 (0)2476 574522 or +44 (0) 7920 531221 or firstname.lastname@example.org To contact Dr Rabbani call: +44 (0)7880 850730 or email: N.Rabbani@warwick.ac.uk OR the BHF press office on 020 7554 0164 or 07764 290 381 (out of hours) or email email@example.com
Notes to editors
1. Scarborough P et al (2010). Coronary heart disease statistics 2010 edition. British Heart Foundation: London.
2 Diabetes UK (2010). Diabetes in the UK: Key statistics on diabetes. Online at http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Documents/Reports/Diabetes_in_the_UK_2010.pdf
3. Department of Health (2007). About diabetes. Online at www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/NationalServiceFrameworks/Diabetes/DH_074762
4. Research published in Diabetes online 27/05/11: 'Glycation of low density lipoprotein by methylglyoxal increases atherogenicity a possible contributor to increased risk of cardiovascular disease in diabetes'. DOI 10.2337/db11-0085
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the nation's heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can beat heart disease.
With Obamacare will come the “Heath Control Agency”. Restricting all forms of human activity on the grounds of saving collective money on health care. The GOP is not going to stop Obamacare and the Courts will condone it.
Ping for later (CAD patient)
Some years ago, my mom watched a medical show that explained how some sugars made certain types of cholesterol sticky. Since then, when I stay awake from certain sugars (HFCS and granulated sugars) my chol. numbers are better. It also made a big difference on the circulation in my feet that were ice cold.
I want to know what it was about our grandparents eating habits that was so darn healthy for them that helped them live into their high eighties. Smoking, drinking, chewing were accept normal habits back then.
Cows that ate grass or hay, not corn. Lard, not oils tainted with chemicals during processing. Real sugar instead of HFCS. Too much of our foods are loaded with junk like preservatives, chemicals or pesticides. Dad loves his lard and is easily pushing into his 80’s without a problem.
>>Cows that ate grass or hay, not corn.<<
But the fat from cows that eat grass or hay have a yucky looking yellowish fat. It’s not white and pretty like corn fed cows. Yes, it does taste better but who is concerned with taste. Appearance is everything!
LOL! Is that so??
So the slabs of tenderloin with yellow fat that I get is from grass-fed cows?! Cool!
FReepmail me if you want on or off the diabetes ping list.
Interesting article. I’m curious about the specific types of sugars. (I’m not a diabetic, but my mom died from diabetes complication.)
This is about blood sugar levels so I don't know how or if sugar type matters.
Can we deep fry with this stuff?
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