Bad News For New Drug to Reduce Cholesterol
What appears to be good news in laboratory mice isn't always the same when it comes to human trials. This was the case for a new drug designed to reduce cholesterol. It was theorized that the drug pactimibe would stop plaque from forming on the artery walls - a consequence of high cholesterol. When tested on humans, however, the drug did just the opposite.
The intention was that pactimibe would block a specific enzyme known as ACAT that allows cholesterol to be attracted to plaques on the artery walls. If the enzyme were blocked then it could keep arteries from becoming narrow and hard due to plaque. In fact, the drug did not prevent the build up and even caused it to increase. The results have led many scientists to take a complete about-face when it comes to more testing on the idea that blocking the enzyme can reduce cholesterol.
The results of the research were reported in the March 23, 2006, New England Journal of Medicine. Heading the research was Dr. Steven E. Nissen, interim chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. The study, even though it produced results different from the hypothesis, was an important step in ruling out one ineffective way of treating cholesterol.
Had the trial drug been able to block the effect of the ACAT enzyme and prevented plaque from forming on the artery walls, it would have been a completely different approach from the more commonly used treatments of statin drugs like Lipitor and Zocor. Statins actually prevent cholesterol from being produced by the body.
The amount of cholesterol produced by the body can be impacted in natural ways as well. Certain nutrients affect the production of cholesterol and reduce total cholesterol. A diet that is low in fat and cholesterol and contains these nutrients will keep cholesterol levels healthy. To learn more, get The 60-Day Prescription Free Cholesterol Cure.
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