A team of Canadian researchers have found a protein that can increase the production of low density lipoprotein cholesterol.
The scientists said the resistin which is secreted by fatty tissue, causes human liver cells to produce more LDL, known as the bad form of cholesterol that can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the resistin also degrades LDL receptors in the liver that makes it harder for the organ to remove from a person’s body, and can accelerate the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries.
The researchers also said, “The research also shows that resistin adversely impacts the effects of statins, the main cholesterol-reducing drug used in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.”
According to Dr. Shriya Rashid, 40% of all the people who take statins are actually resistant to their affects, and high levels of resistin in the blood could be to blame for their inability to lower their cholesterol.
Dr. Shriya also said, the findings could lead to new medicines that help resistin and inhibit its production, thus restoring the effectiveness of statins. Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson said, “The possibilities for improved therapy for the causes of cardiovascular diseases are very important.” He also said, “About 40% of Canadians have high blood cholesterol levels and it’s a significant health concern in Canada.”
The findings also demonstrate how important it is for a person to keep their cholesterol and weight down, as both high LDL levels and obesity are contributing factors in heart disease and stroke.