Blocking a gene may prevent heart diseases

Toronto, July 30 (IANS) Blocking the expression of a gene may help prevent illnesses linked to excessive fat in blood such as cardiovascular and pancreatic diseases, says a new study.

The researchers found that shutting down the expression of this gene decreases in blood the concentration of triglycerides – lipids that come from fats carried by our food or produced by our bodies – even in various severe forms of hypertriglyceridemia.

Higher levels of triglycerides in blood or hypertriglyceridemia is often associated with frequent health issues, such as obesity or diabetes.

The gene in question codes for the apoC-III protein.

“Our study suggests that the protein apoC-III plays a key role in the management of triglycerides. Triglycerides, like cholesterol, are lipids,” said first author of the study Daniel Gaudet from University of Montreal in Canada.

“Depending on the cause, the accumulation of triglycerides in blood is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and pancreatic illnesses, and other complications,” Gaudet noted.

“Our conclusions are promising in terms of the prevention of the risk associated with the accumulation of fat in blood,” he pointed out.

The research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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