Good cholesterol not as protective in people with type 2 diabetes

Dec 21, 2009

High-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol, isn’t as protective for people with type 2 diabetes, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

HDL carries out of the , and high levels are associated with a lower risk of . HDL also helps protect by reducing the production of damaging chemicals, increasing the vessels’ ability to expand, and repairing damage to the vessel lining.

Researchers at the University Hospital Zurich and the Medical School of Hannover in Germany and Switzerland compared the vessel-protecting action of HDL taken from 10 healthy adults with that of 33 patients who had and metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes having low HDL levels (under 40 mg/dL in men and 50mg/dL in women). The diabetes patients were taking cholesterol-lowering medication. In laboratory testing, investigators found that the protective benefits on blood vessels were “substantially impaired” in HDL from the diabetic patients.

The diabetics were then randomized to receive either a placebo or extended-release niacin (1500 milligrams/day), a medication that raises HDL cholesterol while reducing other blood fats. After three months, patients receiving extended-release niacin had increased HDL levels, and markedly improved protective functions of HDL in laboratory testing as well as improved vascular function.

However, because of the sample size and other factors that can’t be excluded, more research is needed to determine if niacin should be recommended for diabetic patients.

Explore further: Human brain has coping mechanism for dehydration

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Abnormal cholesterol levels may raise risk of heart failure

Nov 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Even if you never have a heart attack, abnormal blood cholesterol levels may significantly raise your risk of heart failure, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart As ...

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

3 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

5 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

Stem cells from nerves form teeth

7 hours ago

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that stem cells inside the soft tissues of the tooth come from an unexpected source, namely nerves. These findings are now being published in the journal Nature and co ...

User comments : 0