Research suggests why aspirin may prevent atherosclerosis

Aspirin may prevent the build up of plaques in arteries by increasing expression of proteins that help breakdown lipids and remove of LDL cholesterol, new research suggests.

Aspirin has been shown to prevent atherosclerosis in animal studies, but this is not accounted for by its known mechanisms of action.

Researchers from Ohio State University showed that salicylate, the active by product of aspirin, increased the expression of the paraoxonase 1 protein, which helps break down toxic lipid peroxides, seven times and the expression of apolipoprotein A1, which removes LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, 12 times in mice.

These findings, together with previous studies linking HDL deficit to low PON1 expression, suggest that improved PON1 activators could be developed for use in the prevention of atherosclerosis, the researchers said.

Journal of Lipid Research 2008; 49: 2142-8

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