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​

 

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