Many of the genes regulating the inflammation and immune response of the body are also linked with low HDL-cholesterol levels in the circulation, a new study has confirmed. The study conducted at the University of Helsinki, Finland also discovered that the quality of HDL particle can vary considerably. Cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. Elevated LDL-cholesterol, commonly known as the 'bad cholesterol,' is associated with increased risk of heart disease while HDL-cholesterol, the 'good cholesterol', is associated with decreased risk. During the past few years, approximately 40 regions in the genome have been associated with plasma HDL-cholesterol levels. In a recent publication, the genetic background of low HDL-cholesterol was studied by research groups from the University of Helsinki, Finland. The study subjects were Finnish individuals with either extremely high or extremely low HDL-cholesterol. The scientists discovered several new genes which predispose low HDL-cholesterol levels. They also observed that many of the genes regulating inflammation and immune response of the body were also associated with low HDL-cholesterol levels in the circulation. The results thus validate the strong link between inflammation and low HDL-cholesterol. "The results of the study tell us that some individuals are genetically more prone to inflammation than others, especially in the adipose tissue and blood vessels. The inflammation may block the transport of cholesterol from vessel walls to circulation leading to lower HDL-cholesterol levels in the circulation", says Dr. Pirkka-Pekka Laurila. 'Good' is not always that good The researchers also showed that the quality of HDL particle can vary considerably. In individuals, whose HDL-cholesterol levels were low, the quality of HDL particles was also impaired; they contained smaller amounts of lipid molecules which are known to be antioxidant and thus protective to arteries. In individuals with high HDL-cholesterol levels in the circulation, the lipid composition of the HDL particle was more beneficial regarding heart disease risk. Based on this Finnish study, and earlier ones, the terms 'HDL-cholesterol' and 'HDL particle' should not be confused to indicate heart disease risk. The term 'good cholesterol' appears to be misleading as the cholesterol molecules is exactly the same in both 'good' HDL and 'bad' LDL particles. It is likely that molecules other than cholesterol - the lipid and protein molecules on the surface of the HDL particle - are responsible for the protective effects of HDL particles against heart disease. Source: Eurekalert << North Atlantic Seaweed is Safe to Eat, Says Professor Major Upper GI Bleed Linked to Death from Other Causes >> Recommended Reading Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is important for the normal metabolism of the body and is dangerous only if present in excess. READ MORE Low Cholesterol Diet - PUFA & MUFA Cholesterol - The Pivotal Chemical in Low Cholesterol Diet READ MORE Cholesterol Cholesterol is produced by the body (liver) and is essential for normal body functioning. READ MORE Heart Attack Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Other names for heart attack include acute myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis, and coronary occlusion. READ MORE Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to avoid heart attack are listed. READ MORE High Cholesterol High cholesterol level in blood are a risk for heart disease and stroke. They get deposited in the wall of the arteries and clog the circulation posing a threat to life. READ MORE Liposuction Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition to give a well-contoured shapely look. READ MORE Low Saturated Fat and Low Cholesterol Diet To avoid obesity we must consciously control the quantity and the quality of fat that we eat and our daily intake of fat should contribute no more than 25% of our calories. READ MORE Natural Remedies for Cholesterol – How Effective Are They? Certain natural remedies are effective in controlling high cholesterol, when aided by lifestyle changes. READ MORE Statins Statins are new wonder drugs that are proving to be efficacious, not merely in relieving symptoms but also offering several health benefits. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia A-Z Drug Brands in India Post-Nasal Drip Daily Calorie Requirements More News on: CholesterolHigh CholesterolHeart AttackDiet Lifestyle and Heart DiseaseCholesterol - The Enigma ChemicalLiposuctionHeart Attack- Lifestyle RisksStatinsLow Saturated Fat and Low Cholesterol DietNatural Remedies for Cholesterol – How Effective Are They?