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May 21, 2008

Scientists Link Oxidation of LDL to Metabolic Syndrome

  • Researchers discovered that people with high oxidation levels of LDL are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. “If LDL particles are severely damaged, the body recognizes them and excretes them,” says first author of the paper, Paul Holvoet, Ph.D., of Katholieke Universiteit. “But minimal oxidation is not as easily recognized.

    “The test we devised identifies minimally oxidized LDL particles, which we theorized were the ones that are most likely to be incorporated into atherosclerotic plaque and cause health problems. The finding that oxidized LDL relates particularly to metabolic syndrome advances our understanding of how the atherosclerotic process works.”

    The investigators measured oxidized LDL in more than 2,000 generally healthy people in an ongoing study called CARDIA. The omitted those with metabolic syndrome and followed the remaining 1,889 for five years. Those with the highest levels of oxidized LDL had 3.5 times the risk of developing metabolic syndrome five years later.

    The research team involved scientists from the Katholieke Universiteit, University of Minnesota,  Kyungpook National University, and University of Oslo. The findings were published May 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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