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Injecting good cholesterol may be beneficial

Category: Organ Specific Testing

WebMD has reported that a small study on a treatment to lower the risk of heart attacks due to high cholesterol, showed signs of success. The treatment involves infusing a key protein in HDL, or "good" cholesterol into the body, which would in turn lower the LDL, or "bad" cholesterol.

According to Harvard Medical School (HMS), HDL may help prevent heart attacks by cleaning excess cholesterol from cells and tissues and bringing it to the liver, which uses it to make bile or recycles it. The source also notes that HDL contains an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of artery clogging by preventing the "bad" cholesterol from turning into lipoprotein, which is usually linked to heart disease.

The study found that after patients were infused with the HDL protein, the removal of LDL increased by nearly 164 percent and no serious side effects were observed.

Andreas Gille, M.D., Ph.D., head of clinical and translational science strategy at CSL Limited in Parkville, Australia, which funded the study, told WebMD that while treatments such as niacin and fibrates are successful in removing cholesterol from artery walls, they can take years to be effective.

Other cholesterol treatment drugs include aspirin and other non-clotting medications, but Gille noted that they do not reduce the underlying problem, which is the cholesterol buildup on the arterial walls.

Cholesterol facts and prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that high LDL cholesterol, which can be detected with cholesterol testing, usually has no symptoms.

Some ways to lower cholesterol levels are exercising regularly, losing weight and not smoking. According to the CDC, smoking is detrimental to blood vessels and expedites the hardening of the arteries, which can result in heart disease or stroke, especially when coupled with high cholesterol.

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