Toronto: Canadian scientists have discovered a protein that causes high levels of "bad" cholesterol and lowers the impact of cholesterol-reducing drugs like statins, increasing the risk of heart disease.Researchers found that the protein called resistin secreted by fat tissue increases levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL in human liver cells and also degrades LDL receptors in the liver.As a result, the liver is less able to clear "bad" cholesterol from the body. Resistin accelerates the accumulation of LDL in arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease.The research also showed that resistin adversely impacts the effects of statins, the main cholesterol-reducing drug used in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.Dr Shirya Rashid, senior author of the study from McMaster University, noted that a staggering 40 per cent of people taking statins are resistant to their impact on lowering blood LDL."The bigger implication of our results is that high blood resistin levels may be the cause of the inability of statins to lower patients` LDL cholesterol," Rashid said in a statement.She believes the discovery could lead to revolutionary new therapeutic drugs, especially those that target and inhibit resistin and thereby increase the effectiveness of statins.
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