Research

November 21, 2019 at 8:59 am

Malinski, Hua Research Shows ‘Bad Cholesterol’ Is Only as Unhealthy as its Composition

Dr. Tadeusz Malinski, portrait

Dr. Tadeusz Malinski

From Ohio University News

New research at Ohio University shows that a particular subclass of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol,” is a much better predictor of potential heart attacks than the mere presence of LDL, which is incorrect more often than not.

The presence of LDL is considered an indicator for the potential risk of heart attacks or coronary disease, but studies have shown that about 75 percent of patients who suffer heart attacks have cholesterol levels that don’t indicate a high risk for such an event. Research by Dr. Tadeusz Malinski, the Marvin & Ann Dilley White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, and alumnus Dr. Jiangzhou Hua in OHIO’s Nanomedical Research Laboratory shows that of the three subclasses that comprise LDL, only one causes significant damage.

Malinski is also a member of the Molecular Cellular Biology program and the Nanoscale Quantum Phenomena Institute (NQPI) at OHIO. Hua earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2015.

“Our studies can explain why a correlation of total ‘bad’ cholesterol with a risk of heart attack is poor and dangerously misleading – it’s wrong three quarters of the time,” Malinski said. “These national guidelines may seriously underestimate the noxious effects of LDL cholesterol, especially in cases where the content of subclass B in total LDL is high (50 percent or higher).”

Malinski’s team used nanosensors to measure the concentration of nitric oxide and peroxynitrite in endothelium stimulated by LDL subclasses and reported the findings in a study published in the current issue of International Journal of Nanomedicine. Subclass B of LDL was found to be the most damaging to endothelial function and can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Therefore, it’s not the total amount of LDL cholesterol one has, but rather the concentration of subclass B to the other two, subclass A and subclass I, that should be used to diagnose atherosclerosis and the risk of heart attack.

“Understanding this could lead to improving the accuracy of diagnosis for the evaluation of cardiovascular disease rates,” Malinski said. “Analyzing the mixture of LDL subclasses may provide a parameter-based model for an early medical diagnosis of estimating the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Their study is on “Variable Effects Of LDL Subclasses Of Cholesterol On Endothelial Nitric Oxide/Peroxynitrite Balance – The Risks And Clinical Implications For Cardiovascular Disease.”

Conclusion: Subclass B of “bad cholesterol” is the most damaging to endothelial function and can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Contrary to the current national guidelines, this study suggests that it’s not the total LDL, rather it is the concentration of subclass B in relation to subclasses A and/or I, that should be used for diagnosis of atherosclerosis and the risk of heart attack. By utilizing specific pharmacological therapy to address the concentration of subclass B, there is a potential to significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and atherosclerosis.

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