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Essay Paper on Lipids to Atherosclerosis

Recent years the links between lipids and atherosclerosis have been examined.
The main attention is paid to the role of lipids and their influence on the state of health. It was proved that lipids play a significant role in obesity problems and heart diseases. Recent researches have demonstrated that there is a clear relationship between elevated total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (or low density cholesterol), blood lipid levels and heart disease. This is specifically important in coronary artery disease, ischemic heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure and arrhythmia.

It should be mentioned that lipids are essential as energy stores but also act as structural cell components and vitamins amongst other important functions. They are relatively insoluble in water and are carried in body fluids as soluble protein complexes known as lipoproteins. Plasma lipids are derived from food or synthesised in the body. Genes encoding the key proteins are likely to play fundamental roles in determining plasma levels of cholesterol and fatty acid and thus, susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Therefore, genes involved in lipid are primary candidates as susceptibility genes for coronary atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is caused by genetic and non-genetic factors and complex gene-environment interactions.

Atherosclerosis is a quintessential complex disease caused by multiple genetic and environmental factors and complex gene-environment interactions and involves multiple vascular territories including coronaries, carotids, and peripheral vessels. It is characterized by vascular obstruction from the deposits of plaque, resulting in reduced blood flow. “Plaque rupture and the consequent thrombosis may lead to sudden blockage of the arteries and cause heart attack. High serum lipid levels, especially the elevated level of low-density lipoprotein have been shown to be strongly related to the development of atherosclerosis”.

Apolipoprotein B is complexed to dietary fats after digestion and is vital for recognition of cell receptors involved in cellular uptake of “bad cholesterol”. It was found that in some diseases, “no apoB is secreted, but atherosclerosis is characterised by high levels of apo B”. More recently it has been shown that disorders of lipid metabolism observed in diabetes and obesity predispose to coronary heart disease. Using novel techniques such a DNA microarrays, laboratory models and patient studies, Professor Scott’s team is cloning the genes determining a complex trait of fatty acid transport disorder characterised by raised serum triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, abnormal high density lipoprotein and hypertension. Such a gene may ultimately be a therapeutic target for drugs to treat diabetes. This work also has applications in cancer research, since a novel mechanism of apo B synthesis in the intestine has been implicated in on cogenesis…

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