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Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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New Vaccine for High Cholesterol More Effective Than Statins - Study

New Vaccine for High Cholesterol More Effective Than Statins

(Photo : Getty Images) In the journal Vaccine, researchers have revealed than a new vaccine can used to prevent bad cholesterol build up. A team of researchers of the University of New Mexico and the National Institutes of Health developed the vaccine, which is a cholesterol-lowering agent potentially more effective than statins.

A team of researchers from the University of New Mexico and the National Institutes of Health have developed a new vaccine which is a cholesterol-lowering agent. The new cholesterol vaccine will be potentially more effective than statins. Many Americans nowadays depend on statins to monitor their cholesterol levels to prevent heart-related illness.

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Unlike statins, the new vaccine first hinders the liver's ability to produce cholesterol and targets a specific protein PCSK9 in the liver. This protein regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood. If this protein is reduced, then also the cholesterol levels go down, making their presence directly proportional to each other.

In the journal Vaccine, the researchers explain that this injectable method can be used to prevent bad cholesterol build up in the future. The study notes that the drug has proven effective in mice and macaques, showing significant reductions in total cholesterol, phospholipids, free cholesterol, and triglycerides after vaccination.

Some cholesterol is needed for the body to manufacture hormones and vitamin D and to digest food, but too much of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol - which is considered "bad" cholesterol - can block the arteries leading to heart disease. It also significantly increases the likelihood of stroke.

With just one vaccination, a reduction of LDL cholesterol levels were observed in lab animals.

Dr. Alan Remaley of the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute stated in a press release that statins have side effects and do not work for everyone even though it is still the medication most commonly prescribed for controlling cholesterol. He stated that the new vaccine's test results are very striking and makes it a powerful high-cholesterol treatment.

Approximately 71 million Americans have high LDL levels and less than half are receiving treatment, according to CDC. A new class of drugs PCSK9 inhibitors which can be a possible cholesterol treatment was approved recently in the United States.

The new vaccine for lowering cholesterol is yet to be tested for viability on humans.

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