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The Role of Estrogen in Regulating Heart Disease Risk Factors
A November 13th article on the science news site, ScienceDaily, highlights the findings of a study suggesting that the hormone estrogen regulates key risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. The study is published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (Estrogen's role in regulating common health disease risks identified).
Scientists from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry's Robarts Research Institute, in Canada, showed that estrogen can activate a protein complex called GPER. Once GPER is activated, a protein known as PCSK-9 is inhibited, which in turn lowers LDL cholesterol. The study also found that women who carry a variant of the GPER gene have significant increases in LDL cholesterol levels. This gene variant was found in 20% of the experimental population comprised of women from northern Alberta and Ontario.
According to Dr. Feldman, one of the study’s authors, these findings build upon a previous study his team conducted which concluded that GPER activity could influence blood pressure. He commented that the group’s latest discovery of the gene’s impact on cholesterol levels increases the importance of determining whether a woman has altered GPER activity.
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