Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researcher breaks down cholesterol mystery

24.11.2004


You may not yet have heard of chylomicrons, but a nutritional scientist at the University of Alberta believes you will soon--especially if you care about preventing a stroke or heart attack.



Dr. Spencer Proctor says chylomicrons gather on arterial walls and may be as dangerous or more dangerous than low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in causing strokes and heart attacks. "We were the first in the world to label chylomicrons remnants with florescence and visually show that these particles can accumulate in arterial vessels," Proctor said. "Our next goal is to figure out why they get stuck and whether or not they play a significant role in the development of coronary artery disease--our suspicion now is that they do."

Chylomicrons are metabolized balls of fat and cholesterol that enter the blood stream through the intestines after a meal--usually within about 15 minutes after your last bite. However, because chylomicrons are processed so quickly, when a patient gives a blood sample after fasting for 12 hours or more, as per doctors’ usual orders, chylomicron cholesterol will usually comprise just three per cent of all the cholesterol in the sample. LDL cholesterol is the most prevalent type of cholesterol, usually comprising about 70 per cent of all cholesterols found in blood samples taken from patients who have fasted for 12 hours or more.


For this reason, most researchers believe LDL cholesterol, which is produced in the liver and delivered to the rest of the body over a period of days after food is ingested, is the leading culprit among cholesterols in the development of coronary artery disease.

However, researchers have also been at a loss to explain why 40 per cent of people who are highly vulnerable to suffering a stroke or heart attack have low or normal LDL levels. "That’s why we believe chylomicrons and their remnants are the key to solving this problem," said Proctor, whose research is published in the November issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. "We believe understanding chylomicrons and their metabolism may answer all questions about cholesterol and the role it plays in the development of diabetes, obesity, and other cardiovascular diseases."

Using unique and specially designed imaging tools, Proctor and his colleagues tracked the formation and delivery pathways of chylomicrons in rabbits. Their research showed that chylomicron remnants form smaller lipoproteins, which can build up more quickly in arteries than any other type of cholesterol-carriers, including LDL. "At the moment, not enough is known about chylomicron remnants and their pathways," Proctor said. "As a first goal, I’d like to see a greater awareness among clinicians about the significance of chylomicrons to cardiovascular disease and how to test their metabolism in humans."

"We know that you don’t need to have raised concentrations of LDL to have high levels of chylomicrons," he added. "And it may well be that chylomicrons could be a significant risk factor for developing heart disease and stroke."

Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

nachricht A new approach to high insulin levels
18.09.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>