Keeping LDL cholesterol in check is one of several ways to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet and physical activity, may lower cholesterol in some people, while for others medication may also be required.
A team of researchers looked into the question of how bad white fat cells, which form the layer of fat under our skin, become good brown fat cells. Having conducted cell culture experiments, they found out that the biochemical pathway responsible for producing cholesterol plays a central role in this transformation.
Statin-induced drugs that are prescribed to individuals with high levels of cholesterol may weaken the patient’s muscles and nervous system, a study has observed.
Regular use of junk food and lack of an exercise regime has put urban kids at increased risk of high cholesterol levels.
The liver produces cholesterol our bodies need to function properly. It’s when we have too much cholesterol in the blood that problems can arise. Statins are a class of drugs that reduce cholesterol production in the liver. “Statins have the best evidence in terms of reducing cardiovascular event rates,” said endocrinologist Anne Carol Goldberg, M.D., professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
According to the research, which has been published in the journal Cell Metabolism, statin reduces the formation of brown adipose tissue which helps to convert sugar and fat into heat. People with brown adipose tissue are better at regulating their body temperature in the winter and are less likely to suffer from excess weight or diabetes.
Statins disrupt the production of cholesterol by blocking a specific enzyme inside cholesterol-producing liver cells. This results in more cholesterol-containing particles being removed from the bloodstream by the liver. Some statins also reduce the inflammatory process caused by elevated cholesterol within blood vessel walls. When the body has a reduced reaction to the invading cholesterol, fewer macrophages are allowed to travel into the artery walls, where they would have formed foam cells and plaque.
A team of researchers looked into the question of how bad white fat cells, which form the layer of fat under our skin, become good brown fat cells. Having conducted cell culture experiments, they found out that the biochemical pathway responsible for producing cholesterol plays a central role in this transformation. They also discovered that the key molecule regulating the transformation is the metabolite geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.
They also studied positron emission tomography scans of 8,500 patients. This let them determine whether the person had brown adipose tissue. It was also known whether the patients were taking statins. Evaluating the scans shows that 6 per cent of those not taking the medication had brown adipose tissue, but this tissue type was present in only a little over 1 per cent of those who were taking statins.
The researchers conducted a separate clinical study of 16 people to demonstrate that statins reduce the activity of brown adipose tissue.
“We also have to consider that statins are incredibly important as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease. They save millions of lives around the world, and they are prescribed for a very good reason,” said Christian Wolfrum, a researcher. However, statins also have another negative effect: in high doses, they slightly increase some people’s risk of developing diabetes – as has been shown in other studies.