Scientists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have discovered that a factor released from body fat, which they call Fasting-Induced Adipose Factor or FIAF, has a major impact on blood levels of HDL and triglycerides in mice. The factor might be a promising drug candidate, team leader dr. Sander Kersten says. “Our study demonstrates that small changes in the production of FIAF in mice elevate blood HDL and triglycerides.”
Obesity is known to negatively influence the level of cholesterol and other fats in our blood, often causing a condition called dyslipidemia. For many years, researchers have suspected that factors secreted from body fat affect blood lipids, yet promising candidates are hard to find. Kersten explains: “We know that elevated blood levels of HDL are protective against cardiovascular disease, whereas elevated triglycerides are considered harmful. Obese people often have low HDL levels and elevated levels of triglycerides, and are therefore at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.”
“For years we have known that diet has an influence on blood lipids but improvements achieved by dietary changes alone are often unsatisfactory. While statins are very effective in reducing blood LDL levels, they hardly touch HDL and triglycerides. Therefore, there is a need for drugs that specifically address HDL and/or triglycerides. A promising drug candidate may be FIAF.” says Kersten.
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