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Cholesterol may play a role in liver cirrhosis

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results may have more to worry about than just their heart health. A new University of California, Los Angeles study has shown that cholesterol cells in the liver may also be related to cirrhosis.

In particular, the study showed that liver X receptor cells, which serve to regulate cholesterol fat and inflammatory responses, are mainly responsible for the type of scarring in the liver that leads to fibrosis. These cells are stimulated into action by cholesterol, the study showed.

"Our work sets the stage for looking at new ways to modulate cholesterol and/or fat metabolism in order to have therapeutic potential for the treatment of fibrosing liver diseases," said lead author Dr. Simon Beaven, who led the study.

Beaven noted that cirrhosis cases are skyrocketing in the U.S. and most cases are caused by excessive levels of fat in the liver. Control cholesterol and fat levels may play a critical role in helping individuals maintain healthy liver function and avoid the need for a transplant, which is often the last resort in cirrhosis cases.

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