It is well known that low cholesterol levels are associated with better heart health, but researchers now believe that by reducing cholesterol patients can lower their risk of cancer as well.
During the course of the research study, Dr. Keith Solomon and his team from Childrens Hospital in Boston fed mice a high fat “Western” diet and found that high cholesterol level promoted tumor growth.
They then tested an anti-cholesterol medication on the mice and found that it blocked the cholesterol-induced growth of new blood vessels required for tumor development (angiogenesis).
“Lowering cholesterol levels whether through diet, exercise, or the use of safe cholesterol-lowering drugs is known to provide a substantial benefit to patients,” Solomon says.
“If we can demonstrate the effects noted in our pre-clinical studies in human patients we may be save lives and improve the quality of life,” adds Dr. Michael Freeman, senior author of the study.
In addition to pharmacological options for lowering cholesterol, consumers may also consider using nutritional supplements to achieve that goal.
In particular, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and red yeast rice extract have the dual benefit of reducing LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, and increasing the levels of the healthy HDL.