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Antioxidant therapy may increase cholesterol levels

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who have turned to antioxidant therapies to lower their risk of some cancer may want to rethink the direction of their treatment. A new study has shown that certain targets of antioxidant therapies may actually result in unhealthy cholesterol tests.

A team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles reported in the journal Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology that the protein Nrf2, which is used to boost antioxidant levels, may increase the risk of dangerous clotting of cholesterol in the veins, known as atherosclerosis.

This condition poses a serious risk to individuals’ heart health and may increase the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

"We were very surprised at the finding," said Dr. Jesus Araujo, who led the study. "In fact, the atherosclerosis-producing factors were greater than the antioxidant benefits. The development of novel antioxidant therapies is quite important, and this research may help shed light on why treatments affecting this protein may not be as effective as we thought."

He suggested that individuals take the potential cholesterol risk into consideration before they begin any therapy that involves the Nrf2 protein.

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