Scientists Create 'Nanolipids' To Mimic Good Cholesterol To Fight Heart Disease

Jan Omega

Today in the United States, heart disease is the number one killer among its people. Considered the primary cause of death due to obesity, about 600,000 people die from heart disease-related illnesses every single year.

The Inquisitr understands just how important it is to stay up-to-date on information pertaining to this epidemic and to report on the latest news. Ergo new studies show too much sugar in diet is a higher risk factor for heart disease than salt. Maybe that's why women who drink two sodas per day have a tantamount increase in heart disease risk. Thankfully, social media -- such as Twitter -- are becoming tools to inform the public on how to combat this killer.

Now, there are reports that scientists have created a molecular entity that mimics good cholesterol, the kind that fights heart disease. This new invention is now called a "nanolipid."

According to an article by Nanowerk, professors at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) created the "nanolipid" to imitate high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Through animal models, it has been shown to reduce plaque buildup in arteries. The research was then published in the October issue of Journal of Lipid Research, pointing other scientists towards new methods to treat atherosclerosis, the official name given to the condition of plaque buildup in arteries. TSRI Professor M. Reza Ghadiri provided a statement pertaining to the results on research for the "nanolipid."

"Atherosclerosis is the number one killer in the developed world. This research clears a big step toward clinical implementation of new therapies."

As mentioned earlier, the "nanolipid" imitates the same functions of HDL cholesterol though it is technically a synthetic peptide with three arm-like appendages. First, the "nanolipid" will use its appendages to grab onto low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol within the bloodstreams and from the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls. Next, it mimics a protein in HDL cholesterol called apoA-1 and transports the LDL cholesterol to the liver where it can be removed from the body.

However, the most interesting part of this study is the fact the professors didn't think it would work. Originally, the synthetic peptide was dispersed in the drinking water of mice who were prone to atherosclerosis. They thought the mice's digestive juices would break down the peptide before it got a chance to interact with its intended target. To their surprise, it worked. Over the span of 10 weeks, the mice experienced a 40 percent reduction in potentially harmful cholesterol in their blood and a 50 percent reduction in the size of plaque lesions in their hearts. It should also be noted there was no increased inflammation in the blood or toxicity within that 10 week period either.

Unfortunately, nothing was reported on the "nanolipid" being implemented into health care, or if it will even have volunteer (human) testing. Nevertheless, if correctly implemented, it will surely take a huge bite out of that horrendous statistic of heart disease causing half a million deaths.

[Images via Bing]