Cholesterol study aims to cut drug use

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FRESH discoveries about how our bodies make cholesterol could help develop treatments to control the process, with fewer side-effects than existing drugs.

The findings by Edinburgh University could pave the way for alternatives to commonly prescribed treatments – known as statins – which lower harmful cholesterol levels, but can cause liver and muscle damage.

High levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, but because cholesterol is vital to ensure the body’s normal function, managing levels in the blood can be tricky. The new study suggests a more effective approach.

Dr Steven Watterson, who took part in the study, said: “Controlling cholesterol is vital for our health and drugs can play a part. Developing treatments that mimic the body’s natural methods of managing cholesterol could be more targeted.”