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July 21, 2011

“Ultrabad” cholesterol discovered by scientists

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Scientists from the University of Warwick have recently uncovered a new form of cholesterol that may increase the risk of heart disease by a substantial amount. While health experts have been well aware of bad cholesterol for some time (otherwise known as low-density lipoprotein, or LDL), products such as those available at have been able to manage this problem.

Usually, when high levels of this waxy fat increase, they hang onto artery walls and cardiovascular disease becomes more of a risk if untreated by supplements that reduce cholesterol. New research now suggests that there could be MGmin –LDL – “ultrabad” cholesterol – that could further increase the likelihood of associated conditions. What’s more, Warwick scientists found that the new form of cholesterol was “stickier” and could attach itself to arteries with greater ease.

Dr Shannon Amoils, research advisor to the British Heart Foundation – who funded the study – said: “Understanding exactly how ‘ultrabad’ LDL damages arteries is crucial, as this knowledge could help develop new anti-cholesterol treatments for patients.”

Meanwhile, associate professor of experimental systems biology at Warwick Medical School Dr Naila Rabbani 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. The next challenge is to tackle this more dangerous type of cholesterol with treatments that could help neutralise its harmful effects on patients’ arteries.”

People already concerned with their health may want to consider getting supplements for the issue, though should consult their doctor first. To counteract high levels of bad cholesterol, people should eat a healthy diet low in saturated fats, balancing carbohydrates (cereals, wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice and pasta), unsaturated fats, fruit and vegetables and proteins (meat, fish and beans). Meanwhile, avoid meat products such as sausages and pies, as well as butter, cakes, lard, varieties of cream, biscuits, chocolate, cheese and coconut oil.

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