Sugar substance 'kills' good cholesterol

1 September 2014 

New research has found that a sugary substance can transform 'good' cholesterol into bad, putting people's health at risk.

Scientists at the University of Warwick found the substance - methylglyoxal (MG) - damages 'good' high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is responsible for removing high levels of bad cholesterol from the body.

Low levels of HDL has been linked to heart disease, while an abundance of MG is common for elderly patients and those with diabetes or kidney problems. Published in Nutrition and Diabetes, the study revealed that MG destabilises HDL and causes it to lose its ability to protect against heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr Naila Rabbani, of the Warwick Medical School, said MG damage to HDL is "a new and likely important cause of low and dysfunctional HDL", which could account for up to a ten per cent risk of heart disease.

Currently, there are no drugs to reverse low levels of HDL, but the researchers argue that discovering how MG can damage HDL offers potential new strategies for treatment.

Posted by Philip Briggs​


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...


Weight loss surgery

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)