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Findings could lead to the development of new cholesterol medications

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

New medications may soon be on the way to help individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol tests get their lipids back under control. A recent study showed that cholesterol is largely regulated by genetic pieces, which it may be possible to manipulate.

A team of researchers from New York University showed that snippets of genetic material called microRNA may control the expression of genes that regulate how the body handles cholesterol. The investigators identified microRNA-33a and microRNA-33b as particularly important in the process.

The study also showed that it may be possible to chemically regulate the expression of RNA. In this case, the knowledge could be used to develop medications that genetically lower cholesterol levels.

"This study highlights the benefits of modulating miR-33a/b and its downstream metabolic pathways for the treatment of conditions that increase cardiovascular disease risks, such as dyslipidemias and metabolic syndrome," said lead researcher Kathryn Moore.

Currently, individuals who receive unhealthy cholesterol test results are treated with statin medications, which are mostly effective but not benefit everyone.

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