Scientists Develop Vaccine to Lower Cholesterol

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Scientists have developed a new vaccine that may lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, the Daily Mail reported.

Researchers at the University of New Mexico found that the injection lowered LDL cholesterol by up to 30 percent in mice and monkeys.

According to the report, the vaccine, which would purportedly reduce the risk major heart failures, could be released to the general public within 10 years.

Bryce Chackerian, lead researcher and a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at UNM, suggested that the vaccine could have a “global impact… not just in the United States, but around the world where heart disease is a significant problem.”

High LDL cholesterol, which is largely caused by obesity, has been cited as the cause for over 18 million deaths per year worldwide.

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The shot works by blocking the protein buildup with non-infectious virus particles.

“It is just the shell of a virus, and it turns out that we can use that shell of a virus to develop vaccines against all sorts of things,” Chackerian said, adding that it can trigger an immune system response to fight off LDL cholesterol.

“Your immune system makes a really strong antibody response against this protein that’s involved in controlling cholesterol levels.”

After 10 years of animal testing, researchers said they were ready for human trials in the hopes that the vaccine could mitigate heart disease worldwide.

“We are interested in trying to develop another approach that would be less expensive and more broadly applicable, not just in the United States, but also in places that don’t have the resources to afford these very, very expensive therapies,” Chackerian said.

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