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SDSU Researchers Hope to Revive Cholesterol-Fighting Drugs


Aired 4/19/09

San Diego State University researchers have made a discovery that could revive some promising cholesterol-fighting drugs that were abandoned in the 1990s. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The drugs are called MTP inhibitors. They were found to reduce bad cholesterol, but were dropped because they also caused fat retention in the liver. A team led by San Diego State biologist Roger Davis has discovered how to eliminate that side effect by blocking the activities of two particular genes.

Davis says MTP inhibitors could offer an alternative to statins. 

Davis: There are many people, I think it’s about five percent of the population that cannot take statins, because it causes muscle soreness, and can in some cases cause symptoms and diseases.

Davis says MTP inhibitors have been shown to lower both cholesterol and triglycerides, another element of fat in the blood. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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