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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
A high-fat diet is generally recognized as being a risk factor for receiving unhealthy cholesterol test results. However, the reasons for this association are not exactly clear. A new study may help to clarify the situation.
Researchers from the Carnegie Institute for Science showed that fat plays a necessary role in the uptake of cholesterol from food by the liver. Without fat, the body appears to allow cholesterol to pass through.
The findings were developed by analyzing the digestive processes of young zebrafish, which have transparent bodies. This allowed the researchers to track fat and cholesterol particles as they passed through the bodies of the fish.
"One reason these questions remain unknown is because of the difficulty of studying such a complex biological system as the intestine," said lead researcher James Walters, adding that the unique characteristics of zebrafish make them the perfect models for studying these types of matters.
Walters said the findings could play a useful role in helping people who have received unhealthy cholesterol tests develop safer diets. Minimizing fat consumption may be the most beneficial thing people can do to lower their cholesterol.
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