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 NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

SYSTEMS INTEGRATION 2018 in Switzerland focuses on building blocks for industrial digitalization

20.11.2017 | Trade Fair News

Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>