Good Cholesterol Not As Protective in Type 2 Diabetics

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According to a report by The American Heart Association, a small European study shows high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good” cholesterol, isn’t as protective for people with type 2 diabetes.
HDL carries cholesterol out of the arteries, and high levels are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. HDL also helps protect blood vessels by reducing the production of damaging chemicals, increasing the vessels’ ability to expand, and repairing damage to the vessel lining.
The study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association compared the vessel-protecting action of HDL taken from 10 healthy adults with that of 33 patients who had type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes having low HDL levels. The diabetes patients were taking cholesterol-lowering medication. In laboratory testing, investigators found that the protective benefits on blood vessels were “substantially impaired” in HDL from the diabetic patients.The diabetics received either a placebo or extended-release niacin (1500 milligrams/day), a medication that raises HDL cholesterol while reducing other blood fats.
The researchers found that after three months, patients receiving extended-release niacin had increased HDL levels, and markedly improved protective functions of HDL in laboratory testing as well as improved vascular function.
More research is still needed to determine if niacin should be recommended for diabetic patients.

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