Thursday 20 October 2016

Arthritis patients need to check their cholesterol levels


High cholesterol is a condition which is commonly associated with heart disease. It could be the common cause of arthritis, experts have warned.

Too much cholesterol has long been know to increase chances of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and lead to heart problems.

However, a new study suggests that high cholesterol may also put additional stress on the cartilage between bones, ultimately leading to osteoarthritis.

Cholesterol is waxy substance produced mainly in the liver, although most body cells can make it when necessary.

It is vital for health as it is used to make hormones, vitamin D, bile acids and cell membranes but there are two main types of cholesterol - good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol.

Good HDL-cholesterol removes LDL-cholesterol from the circulation and transports it back to the liver for processing.

But bad cholesterol has been linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke.

The researchers used two groups of rodents for the study - one with an altered gene that made the animal hypercholesteremic - which means there are high levels of cholesterol in the blood - and one without.

They found that rats and mice reared on a high-cholesterol diet and later given surgery designed to mimic knee injuries in people with osteoarthritis showed more severe development of the condition than those fed a normal diet.

Dr Indira Prasadam, from the Queensland University of Technology, said: "High cholesterol levels trigger mitochondrial oxidative stress on cartilage cells, causing them to die, and ultimately leading to the development of osteoarthritis.

"Our team has already begun working alongside dietitians to try to educate the public about healthy eating and how to keep cholesterol levels at a manageable level that won't damage joints."

Published in the journal FASEB (Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology), the study also found that the drug atorvastatin, as well as mitochondrion-targeted antioxidants, was able to reduce the development of osteoarthritis.

Dr Thoru Pederson, editor in chief of FASEB, said: "Just when we thought all the angles on osteoarthritis had been uncovered, a new lead like this comes along.

"The focus of hypercholesterolemia, whether familial or sporadic, has, of course, always been on arterial disease, but here we have a fascinating new discovery."

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.

In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis - the two most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.