Drugs For High Cholesterol

New Drugs To Combat High Cholesterol Could Be A Game Changer For Healthcare In The U.S.

We may be able to finally subdue the increasing obesity rate across the United States.

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High cholesterol level is a leading cause of the obesity epidemic throughout the United States, with approximately 30% of American children calling in at overweight or obese. An increased level of cholesterol in the body is indicative of higher levels of fat in the bloodstream being carried by lipoproteins, which can build up in arteries, block blood flow to the heart, and ultimately increase the risk for heart attacks and coronary-related diseases such as coronary artery disease.

A recently-discovered enzyme's structure has been determined to be a key factor in reducing excess cholesterol to the liver, and the physical stabilization of that structure could be a new hallmark in the development of statins (drugs to combat high cholesterol levels) in order to stem this rising tide of obesity.

Lead author Kelly Manthei, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, has conducted research to reveal how a drug-like chemical stimulates the action of the lecithin: cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) enzyme to help high-density lipoprotein (HDL, AKA, "good cholesterol") remove cholesterol from the blood via conversion of the lipid into a more mobile form to transport. Various mutations in LCAT have led to both partial loss of activity (known as the fish-eye disease) and full loss (known as FLD), characterized by fluid buildup in the eyes as a result of excessive cholesterol buildup.

Utilizing X-ray crystallography, Manthei's team was able to isolate the LCAT enzyme and ascertain how LCAT activators bind specifically to the enzyme to promote cholesterol transport. They utilized two different chemicals — the activator molecule and a second compound that mimics a substrate bound to the enzyme (agonist).

When viewing the results of the scan, Manthei's team was able to deduce that the two chemicals had more of an effect on the protein when presented in tandem rather than separately, suggesting that the two molecules had unique binding sites on the enzyme. Further analysis revealed that the activator molecule binds to a region close to where the HDL attaches.

However, the activator's role was not to help LCAT bind HDL more effectively, but rather to assist in the transfer of cholesterol and lipids into the catalytic center of the enzyme in order to convert it for transport in HDL.

Having understood the purpose of the activator, Manthei's team developed a modified version of the enzyme with a mutation normally seen in FLD patients and then tested that variation's ability to bind HDL and convert cholesterol in both the presence and absence of the activator molecule. They found that the activator could partly reverse the loss of activity in the mutated enzymes, resulting in similar transport of cholesterol to that of the normally functioning enzyme.

These results show a great deal of pharmacological promise to help develop new compounds specifically needed to combat high cholesterol levels, and ultimately subdue the increasing obesity rate across the United States.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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