Plant sterols have been touted as an effective way to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, a research study in the July JLR has uncovered that these compounds do have their own risks, as they can accumulate in heart valves and lead to stenosis.
Aortic valve stenosis (AS) results from cholesterol accumulation in the valve between the left ventricle and aorta; this impedes the flow of blood and puts extra pressure on the heart. About 2% of individuals over 65 (and over 5% of those over 85) have AS, and as the population ages, it is becoming an increasing problem.
Plant sterols can block the absorption of dietary cholesterol into the body, and as such high vegetable diets and/or plant sterol supplements are often used to alleviate high cholesterol. However, although plant sterols themselves are poorly absorbed, they can enter the body, so Satu Helske and colleagues examined whether plant sterols can also accumulate in aortic valves.
They collected blood samples from 82 patients with severe AS and aortic valves from 21 individuals undergoing valve surgery, along with respective controls. They observed that non-cholesterol sterols, including plant sterols, can accumulate in aortic valves, and at levels that directly related to their blood concentration.
These findings suggest that beneficial plant sterols may end up becoming a risk factor for AS, although the researchers will need to conduct more studies, such as whether dietary sterols and sterol supplements produce different effects.
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy