Study on Cholesterol Makes Top Ten Global List

There’s a reason why Dr. Alejandro Gugliucci’s first article for 2013 holds a spot in the top 10 list of articles written globally on the specialty of describing a new method to study the good cholesterol – it’s a hot and relevant topic in today’s medical setting. 

“Our approach is novel. We are the first to study function and concentration of HDL subclasses with just a few microliters of serum. We presented these findings at the European Atherosclerosis Society as well as at the Israel Atherosclerosis Society Annual Research Conferences in 2012 and received great feedback,” said Dr. Gugliucci, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at Touro University California. 

His article, “Enzymatic assessment of paraoxonase 1 activity on HDL subclasses: a practical zymogram method to assess HDL function,” written in collaboration with Russell Caccavello, Kazuhiko Kotani, Naoki Sakane, and Satoshi Kimura, explains a new practical technique that will allow, when validated by other studies, doctors to look at the antioxidant function and efficiency of the good cholesterol particles.  

Basically, good cholesterol acts as a protective factor against heart disease. However, drugs that increase it have failed. What we call the bad cholesterol or the good cholesterol are in fact “trucks” that carry fat. The bad cholesterol, also called LDL, delivers fat to the tissues, which can accumulate and block vessels. This results in a heart attack or a stroke. The good cholesterol truck (HDL) tends to bring cholesterol back from the vessels and get rid of it. 

When doctors measure HDL-cholesterol, they are in a way looking at how many trucks exist in the body.

Moreover, these trucks do not only carry cholesterol but powerful antioxidant enzymes, known as paraoxonase1. 

“If we could measure how effective they are and how much antioxidant enzymes they carry, we could have better diagnostic tools,” Dr. Gugliucci said. “Clearly, increasing the number of trucks or its capacity did not work. 

“The next frontier in the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of coronary heart disease lies on HDL and its function,” Dr. Gugliucci added. “Our team is gaining site on paraoxonase1 function in HDL subclasses and developing new methods to tackle these complex issues.”

Read the article on the Science Direct website.