Huffpost UK Lifestyle uk

Good Cholesterol Can Turn Bad And Contribute To Heart Disease And Strokes, Scientists Say

Posted: Updated:
CHOLESTEROL
Gary S Chapman via Getty Images

Scientists have shown how "good" cholesterol can go bad and contribute to heart disease and strokes.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, normally protects against heart and artery disease by helping to keep blood vessels clear.

Yet trials have failed to show that raising HDL levels in patients leads to signficant improvements in cardiovascular health.

Story continues below the slideshow:

Close
Good Cholesterol Foods
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

The new research suggests that one reason for this is HDL's change from hero to villain in patients with artherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

A key protein in HDL, apoA1, that allows the molecule to remove "bad" cholesterol from artery walls becomes oxidised and joins forces with its harmful cousin.

Blood tests conducted on 627 patients in the US showed that higher levels of the dysfunctional HDL raised the risk of heart and artery disease.

See Also:

Researchers Develop More Accurate Way To Calculate 'Bad' Cholesterol

How To Prevent And Lower High Cholesterol

"Identifying the structure of dysfunctional apoA1 and the process by which it becomes disease-promoting instead of disease-preventing is the first step in creating new tests and treatments for cardiovascular disease," said lead researcher Dr Stanley Hazen, from the Cleveland Clinic.

The research is reported in the latest edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

Around the Web

Good vs. Bad Cholesterol - American Heart Association

Trans fat: Avoid this cholesterol double whammy - Mayo Clinic

Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good | The ...

Discovery Health "What's the difference between LDL and HDL ...

High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions - MedicineNet

The most important thing you probably don't know about cholesterol

Understanding Fats - Saturated Fats, Unsaturated Fats, Trans Fats

Eating Right for Your Heart | Patient Education | UCSF Medical Center

Dietary Fat and Cholesterol - Colorado State University Extension

Lowering Cholesterol and the Difference Between HDL and LDL ...