A research team led by an Indian origin scientist has uncovered the mechanism as to how aspirin prevents plaque build up in arteries.
Previous animal studies have shown that aspirin may protect against atherosclerosis.
To reach the conclusion, researcher Sampath Parthasarathy conducted the study using mouse model and cultured cells.
They found that aspirin -specifically its active byproduct salicylate- can greatly increase the expression of two proteins: paraoxonase 1 (PON1) and apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1)
However, low dose aspirin supplements could increase PON1 and ApoA1 levels by 7- and 12- fold, respectively.
Both of these proteins are beneficial components of the HDL complex, the "good cholesterol" that helps prevent atherosclerosis
ApoA1 removes bad cholesterol from the bloodstream while PON1 is an antioxidant that breaks down toxic lipid peroxides.
The study has been published online in the October issue of Journal of Lipid Research.