New Discovery Represents Promising Directions for Treatment of Heart Disease


Researchers at the University of Leicester have made a breakthrough in understanding how cholesterol is absorbed into our cells, a discovery with the potential to revolutionize heart disease prevention. This research, led by Dr. Beatriz Romartinez-Alonso and Dr. Louise Fairall, was recently published in the journal Science.

Cholesterol is a necessary substance in our bodies but can be harmful in excess. It’s found in certain foods and produced by the liver. When too much cholesterol accumulates, it can clog arteries, leading to heart disease.

The team’s key finding is the role of two proteins, Aster B and Aster C, in cholesterol transport from the intestines to the cells. This insight is crucial for developing new cholesterol-lowering treatments.

One exciting aspect of this research is how it showed that Ezetimibe, a drug used to lower cholesterol, works by blocking these proteins. This understanding opens up possibilities for more effective cholesterol management medications, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Supported by a $6 million grant from the Leducq Foundation, this project is part of a global effort to understand and combat heart disease. Professor John Schwabe of the University of Leicester emphasizes that this research could lead to new therapies, potentially saving lives by preventing high cholesterol and related heart issues.

The University of Leicester’s research offers promising new directions for heart disease treatment and prevention, focusing on how we can better manage cholesterol levels in the body.

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