High cholesterol capable of causing bone loss: Experts
High cholesterol, which is a known factor for the decrease in heart health may harm more than our cardiovascular systems and lead to bone loss, say researchers including one of Indian-origin.
The new research conducted using animal models suggests that high levels of cholesterol can trigger mitochondrial oxidative stress on cartilage cells — connective tissue — causing them to die. This may ultimately lead to the development of osteoarthritis — a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down, said Indira Prasadam, a researcher at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.
For the study, Prasadam and her team used two different animal models to mimic human hypercholesterolemia. The first was a mouse model that had an altered gene called Apolipoprotein E that made the animals’ hypercholesteremic. The other was a rat model, and the animals were fed a high-cholesterol diet, causing diet-induced hypercholesterolemia. Both models were fed a high-cholesterol diet or control normal diet, after which they underwent a surgery that mimics knee injuries in people and was designed to bring on osteoarthritis. Both the mice and the rats that were subjected to surgery and fed with high-cholesterol diets showed more severe osteoarthritis development than seen in the normal diet group. However, when both the mice and the rats were exposed to the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin and mitochondrion-targeted antioxidants, the development of osteoarthritis was markedly decreased in relation to the untreated groups.