Lowering Cholesterol to “Levels of a New-Born” May Cut Heart Attack Risk

ef28fa7d-6999-45c5-bc58-71d4e1727bc5articleimage.jpg

19 Dec 2016 --- Reducing our cholesterol levels to those of a new-born baby significantly lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to new research. The findings come after recent studies have questioned whether very low levels of cholesterol are beneficial.

The study, led by scientists at Imperial College London, saw researchers analyze data from over 5,000 people taking part in cholesterol-lowering trials. These studies utilized a new therapy to reduce cholesterol to much lower levels than previously possible.

The team wanted to assess whether reducing cholesterol as low as possible is safe, and whether it was more beneficial than the current levels achieved with existing drugs.

The scientists found that dropping cholesterol to the lowest level possible – to levels similar to those we were born with – reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke or fatal heart disease by around one third.

Professor Kausik Ray, lead author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial, said: “Experts have been uncertain whether very low cholesterol levels are harmful, or beneficial.”

“This study suggests not only are they safe, but they also reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.”

The scientists examined levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This is considered to be ‘bad’ cholesterol, as it is responsible for clogging arteries. LDL carries cholesterol to cells, but when there is too much cholesterol for cells to use, LDL deposits the cholesterol in the artery walls.

Official advice suggests most people should aim to keep their LDL cholesterol at 100 mg/dL or below, though this number can vary depending on a person's risk of cardiovascular disease.

In the study, the team analyzed data from 10 trials, involving around 5,000 patients. Most had cardiovascular disease, and already had some furring of the arteries, or were at very high risk of furred arteries.

All of the patients had previously been diagnosed with high cholesterol, and many were slightly overweight. The average age was 60, and the researchers tracked the patients for between three months and two years. The average cholesterol reading was around 125 mg/dL, and they were all deemed at risk of heart problems or stroke.

Mostly patients were taking a cholesterol-lowering statin therapy, but just over half were also taking an additional novel drug, called alirocumab, every two weeks via a small injection, to further lower cholesterol levels. This drug may be needed when patients’ cholesterol levels are not sufficiently lowered by statins.

Some patients find their cholesterol levels aren't adequately reduced by statins, possibly because they carry a faulty gene.

The combined effect of the new drug and the statin in the trials meant that patients reached very low cholesterol – lower than 50mg/dL. This is comparable to the levels we are born with, but is only achievable in adulthood through medication – lifestyle and exercise alone would not drop levels so low.

The researchers found lowering levels of cholesterol reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, angina or death from heart disease, and that for every 39mg/dL reduction in LDL, the risk reduced by 24 per cent.

Professor Ray added: “This study not only confirms that LDL can trigger heart problems, but also suggests reducing it in adults to very low levels - to those of a new-born baby - is both safe and beneficial.”

He explained the team now need to gather longer-term data, to see if the beneficial effects continue. He added we need to wait until these trials have been fully analyzed before we can fully assess the benefits of alirocumab.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

ExcelVite palm tocotrienol complex eases severe pain, diabetic patient study reveals

20 Feb 2018 --- Researchers at the University Science of Malaysia have found that daily doses of EVNol SupraBio – a bio-enhanced full spectrum palm tocotrienol complex – can help to relieve severe pain (lancinating pain) in diabetic neuropathy patients. Focusing on diabetic neuropathy patients (DPN), this Vitamin E Neuroprotection Study (VENUS) was a randomized, double-blind clinical trial carried out to discover how to better manage the challenging issue of painful neuropathy. It is the largest tocotrienol human clinical study of its kind. 

Nutrition & Health News

Yogurt may reduce cardiovascular disease risk

19 Feb 2018 --- A higher yogurt intake is associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive men and women, a study in the American Journal of Hypertension suggests. High blood pressure is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor. Clinical trials have previously demonstrated beneficial effects of dairy consumption on cardiovascular health, and yogurt may independently be related to cardiovascular disease risk.

Nutrition & Health News

Drink your vitamins: SternVitamin launches micronutrient premix for beverages 

19 Feb 2018 --- A healthy lifestyle is essential to all age groups, and nutrition plays a major role alongside various other components. SternVitamin is now offering beverage manufacturers a novel way to address the topic of health with a new micronutrient premix for healthy bones and heart. SternVitamin notes that the mix picks up on one of the top trends in the beverage market – water-based enriched products. The vegan premix contains vitamins B1, B12, C, K2 and D3. Organic agave syrup powder gives it a slight sweetness, while natural flavors give the drink a “dark berry” taste. It dissolves clear in water and leaves no turbidity. 

Nutrition & Health News

“Unhelpful”: EU regulatory framework fuels nutrition industry dissatisfaction 

16 Feb 2018 --- A survey reveals that one-third of all nutrition industry professionals believe that the current EU framework for achieving a health claim on new products is stunting innovation because it’s complicated, expensive, long-winded and has several “gray areas.” And “regulation frustration” is a strong feeling running through the industry with many more professionals now believing the current EU regulatory environment is “unhelpful” – a 25 percent hike compared with statistics from the beginning of 2017. Experts are attributing this sharp rise in dissatisfaction to the EU’s tough stance on health claims and the current regulatory deadlock on botanicals.

Nutrition & Health News

Research driving demand for OPO in China’s formula market: Advanced Lipids

16 Feb 2018 --- OPO is increasing in popularity in China’s infant formula market, and according to Advanced Lipids, this is down to the growing body of scientific research backing the benefits of this ingredient. Also known as SN-2 palmitate, OPO is a premium quality ingredient that mimics the fatty acid profile of human milk.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/lowering-cholesterol-to-levels-of-a-new-born-may-cut-heart-attack-risk.html