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High-fat meals may lead to dangerous cholesterol elevation

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

The high cholesterol content of a single fast food meal may be enough to cause permanent cardiovascular damage, according to a new study from the University of California, Davis.

In particular, the triglycerides that are found in fatty food cause inflammation in the arteries that damages endothelial cells, which are responsible for contracting and expanding blood vessels, the researchers said. Weakened endothelial cells have been connected to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

For the study, researchers studied the effects of a fast food meal on 61 participants. They took cholesterol test scores before and after the meal and also measured markers of inflammation in the circulatory system.

They found that individuals who had high cholesterol levels before the meal were most affected. Triglyceride levels increased markedly and inflammation also increased to dangerous levels after eating the fast food meal.

"The new study shows that eating a common fast food meal can affect inflammatory responses in the blood vessels," said Anthony Passerini, who led the study.

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