London: A major breakthrough by British scientists could lead to a new cholesterol-busting pill without the potentially dangerous side effects of statins.Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have found that cholesterol levels are suppressed by the body`s immune system as part of the process that fights off viral infections, the Daily Express reported.“We have identified the immune hormone that does this. Statins are effective but crude drugs,” Professor Peter Ghazal, leader of the research team, said.“This discovery gives the ability to be a little more refined and by being a lot more subtle in how to control the production of cholesterol you can prevent a lot of these adverse side-effects,” he noted.Professor Ghazal hopes drugs to mimic the hormone that are just as effective as statins without their side effects may be an estimated five years away.Statins have been hailed as a wonder drug for reducing the harmful blood fat that furs up arteries triggering tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes that kill 150,000 people every year in Britain.
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