A groundbreaking innovation brings new cholesterol vaccine provided that clinical trials on human patients are as successful as animal tests.
The new cholesterol vaccine may soon replace the commonly prescribed statins. High cholesterol levels increased the risk of heart disease for million of U.S. adults. Until now, only statins have been able to keep high cholesterol levels in check. Nonetheless, their daily use has a number of side effects patients have reported.
With widespread rates of high cholesterol levels, millions of U.S. adults are at risk of heart disease, the most common cause of U.S. mortality. In replacing statins, the new cholesterol vaccine may be highly effective in preventing the buildup of plaque on artery walls, thus reducing the strain on arteries and blood flow.
A groundbreaking innovation brings new cholesterol vaccine thanks to the close collaboration between scientists with the University of Mexico and the National Institutes of Health. The formula they have designed for the vaccine significantly reduces costs and could replace statins. The vaccine has been tested in two instances. With both monkeys and mice it yielded encouraging results. The results of the joint research are published in the journal Vaccine.
There are two types of cholesterol. The one that poses a real health threat is known as low-density lipoprotein or LDL. Nationwide, 71 million people are diagnosed with LDL. LDL encourages artery clogging through plaque buildup on arterial walls. This prevents the blood from flowing and leads to heart disease.
Reversely, good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) fights against LDL. Thanks to HDL, bad cholesterol is removed from blood vessels and redirected to the livers in order to be processed and released in the body as HDL. At the same time, HDL promotes the healthy growth of cell walls. LDL builds upon cell walls, choking them.
PCSK9 is a protein which promotes the production of cholesterol in our bodies. At the same time, it will keep it in check unless it suffers a mutation which allows high LDL levels. As such, the new cholesterol vaccine targets the protein.
Following animal testing the researchers concluded that the new cholesterol vaccine stopped the production of PCSK9. With the protein removed from the equation, LDL levels dropped significantly in both mice and monkeys.
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