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Novel Way to Inhibit Cholesterol Production

A study conducted at the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences has discovered a new way of inhibiting cholesterol production in body. This novel treatment is believed to be as effective as the medication without the side effects. According to the researchers, squalene mono-oxygenase (SM), an enzyme, plays an important role in the production of the cholesterol. SM is only one of the 20 enzymes which are involved in the cholesterol production. Currently only one enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR), is being targeted to lower the cholesterol through medication. Sadly, this can give rise to side effects like muscle pain.

Andrew Brown, Associate Professor and the lead author of the study,along with the team, found out that the SM enzyme specifically targets the cholesterol production without disturbing the assembly line. As cholesterol is needed for the production of sex hormones and to build the cell walls, this arrangement might be a better option. The present medication completely cuts down the cholesterol production which might not be desirable.

Anti-SM drugs need to be tested on human beings. Scientists are positive that the new way of inhibiting cholesterol might prove beneficial. The study appears in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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