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There is more than one way to dispose of cholesterol, study shows

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Many individuals who have recently received bad news on a cholesterol test may soon have a new treatment option available to help them bring their cholesterol numbers down and reduce the risk of heart disease.

A new study has found that the traditional model that describes the body's method for disposing of excess cholesterol - which is the target of most cholesterol-lowering drugs - may not be the only way the body gets rid of the harmful substance.

Common knowledge has it that HDL - or "good" cholesterol - sweeps the arteries of cholesterol build-up and takes it to the liver where it goes into bile. However, researchers from Wake Forest University have found that cholesterol can also be disposed of through the feces.

Mark Brown, who led the investigation, said that this newly discovered pathway for disposal of excess cholesterol could offer a new target for medications. Most current drugs work by sending more cholesterol to the liver, but Brown said that this can have harmful side-effects, including gallstones.

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