Research

Inhibiting DGAT1 can slim down the bad cholesterol

Researchers from the University of Warwick in England have come up with potential research that identifies the enzyme responsible for loading up fat-carrying particles in the liver, which are then transported around the body. The Journal of Lipid Research published the respective research. It also revealed that slimming down this enzyme could be helpful in reducing the amount of bad cholesterol carried throughout the body. The findings of the study promise to pave ways for the development of new treatments regarding the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

The research team investigated the enzyme diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1). Moreover, they evaluated the potential outcomes of inhibiting the enzyme in the body. Adding to your information, DGAT1 is a fat-synthesizing enzyme. It is present in the liver and is linked to the production of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Furthermore, according to a study, DGAT1 protects cells against damage caused by lipotoxic stress during adipocyte lipolysis. It averts ER stress and lipotoxicity by mediating fatty-acid re-esterification.

DGAT1 doesn’t work to synthesize fats only. A study, published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, says that this enzyme plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin and hair as well. The research was carried by experts at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease. They found that removing DGAT1 in mice increased the level of retinoic acid in the skin, causing hair loss.

Retinoic acid is generally known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. However, it is unregulated without DGAT1. Retinol is toxic and if uncontrolled or without DGAT1, it causes elevated sensitivity to the skin and even alopecia.

What happens if DGAT1 is inhibited?

The current study in subject established how inhibiting DGAT1 in the liver could alleviate the size of VLDL particles by nearly half. It demonstrates the role of DGAT1 in loading up VLDL with fat. Note, VLDL carries triglycerides to the tissues for storage. The elevated levels of it in the body can increase the risk of coronary artery disease. The amount of fat carried by VLDL particles determines their size. The larger the size, the worse the cholesterol in them becomes.

The research team explains that VLDL particles are not harmful. However, when they are depleted of triglyceride after they offload it to other tissues, they become Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). These LDLs are the actual carriers of bad cholesterol associated with heart diseases. As the LDL deposits within the walls of arteries, it results in arteriosclerosis which can result in blockage of the coronary arteries and increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

In addition, the researchers also noted that inhibiting DGAT1 levels in the liver did not cause significant changes in the number of particles. However, it did cut triglyceride content by half.

As per the medical experts, having high levels of triglycerides in the body i.e. 200 milligrams per deciliter or above can add to the likelihood of chronic diseases like heart disease and metabolic syndrome.  The findings of the study identify the enzyme (DGAT1) as the key determinant of the content of triglycerides and the size of VLDL particles.

Bad cholesterol to cause dangerous blood clots

Aside from chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, bad cholesterol can elevate the risks of getting a potentially dangerous blood clot known as venous thromboembolism (VTE). There is a study presented in the American Health Association’s Vascular Discovery Scientific Session backing up this fact. The researchers of this respective study obtained data from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs’Million Veteran Program and the U.K. Biobank. They basically tested for 13 million genetic variants and found new factors that contribute to VTE. The key factor included a protein called plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Venous diseases are considered an important cause of cardiovascular death and disability worldwide. Over a million people in the U.S. are suffering from the condition. This study reveals the role of bad cholesterol in such situations. Thus, people must investigate and study the natural, preventable measures regarding the situation.

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan has studied bio-medical sciences and loves to contribute her research into the field of health through her writing. Her expertise includes product reviews and health news reporting but she enjoys writing research-based news, the most. Twitter- @MichelleKwan19

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