Synthetic “Good” Cholesterol Has Gold At Its Core

One problem that the synthetic might solve is how to increase HDL—the good cholesterol—in people’s bodies. Image: Ars Technica Science-Centric Journal

Jan 20, 2009

Scientists at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, have developed a synthetic version of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol that doctors are always nudging their patients with diabetes to monitor.

HDL is sometimes described as a "sponge" because of its ability to "bind" cholesterol and keep it from leading to heart-threatening plaque formation on arterial walls. 

The synthetic HDL, which completely mimics natural HDL in both structure and effect, uses a gold "nanoparticle" (an object that is 100 or fewer billionths of a meter in size) as its core. Gold is both non-toxic and easily shaped, making it an ideal substrate for the synthetic. To create the synthetic HDL, two lipids and a protein called APOA1 are layered on the gold base, creating a nanoparticle 18 billionths of a meter in size.

One problem that the synthetic might solve is how to increase HDL in people's bodies. Although there are drugs that decrease levels of "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the bloodstream, nobody is quite sure how increase the levels of HDL. Synthetic HDL could potentially be the basis of a drug therapy that allows "good" cholesterol to be regulated at will.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Low Calorie & Low Fat, Nutrition Research, Professional Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 0 comments - Jan 20, 2009

©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.