Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Relax (Your Blood Vessels), And Lower Your Cholesterol

Date:
July 21, 1998
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Drugs that lower blood cholesterol levels may work by increasing the amount of a chemical that relaxes blood vessels, helping them regain flexibility, according to a study reported July 21 in an American Heart Association journal.

DALLAS, July 21 -- Drugs that lower blood cholesterol levels may work by increasing the amount of a chemical that relaxes blood vessels, helping them regain flexibility, according to a study reported today in an American Heart Association journal.

Related Articles


The chemical, nitric oxide, signals blood vessels to open and close in response to the body's changing need for increased or decreased blood flow. Individuals with elevated cholesterol have an impaired ability to relax, or dilate, their blood vessels, which researchers attribute to a problem in nitric oxide activation. In individuals whose cholesterol levels were lowered by the drug fluvastatin, more nitric oxide was produced, improving dilation.

"Cholesterol-lowering therapy has been associated with a decrease in deaths from heart disease, and this improvement in dilation may be one way that the drug works," says Roland Schmeider, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Researchers already know that cholesterol-lowering helps prevent fatty deposits that can clog blood vessels, triggering a heart attack or stroke. The new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association finds that lowering cholesterol also improves dilation of blood vessels.

Schmeider believes that the other cholesterol-lowering or statin drugs improve vessel dilation. He goes on to say that in patients with very high cholesterol levels the same results can not be achieved by a reduced-fat diet without any drug treatment.

Testing the ability of vessels to dilate may be a new way to determine the need for cholesterol-lowering treatment, Schmeider says. "We know we have patients with high cholesterol levels, but which are the ones at highest risk to develop atherosclerosis? By developing a test to look at vessel function and dilation, it might help us determine who is in most need of this treatment."

In the study, 11 individuals were given a placebo (an inert substance) and 16 were given fluvastatin. The rate of blood flow in the arm, an indication of blood vessel dilation, was measured before and after treatment with fluvastatin.

In one of the experiments to determine the capacity for dilation, researchers injected a chemical called acetylcholine to dilate the participants' blood vessels, then measured any increase in the rate of blood flow. Before treatment, both groups (placebo and fluvastatin) had about the same increase in blood flow.

After treatment, the fluvastatin group had up to 75 percent (from a 2.07 milliliters per minute increase to 3.64 mL/min) more of an increase in blood flow, while the placebo group showed little or no effect. Participants in the study who took fluvastatin also showed a marked decrease in blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol.

Co-authors are Stephan John, M.D.; Marakus Schlaich, M.D.; Matthias Langerfeld, M.D., Horst Weiprecht, M.D.; and Gerd Schmitz, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Relax (Your Blood Vessels), And Lower Your Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980721080226.htm>.
American Heart Association. (1998, July 21). Relax (Your Blood Vessels), And Lower Your Cholesterol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980721080226.htm
American Heart Association. "Relax (Your Blood Vessels), And Lower Your Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980721080226.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins