There may be a new weapon in the battle against atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque inside arteries. A molecule has been discovered that may play a role in preventing that buildup.
Atherosclerosis is the buildup of cholesterol and other deposits on the inner walls of the arteries. It is also know as hardening of the arteries.
Researchers learned that if your body lacks this molecule, your chances of developing atherosclerosis increase. The lead researcher on the study says the discovery could lead to new plaque-fighting drugs.
"You can start looking for molecules, small molecules that can be used as a drug to control atherosclerosis, and hopefully, this time, we will get there," said Eugene Podrez, Ph.D. of Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Podrez says the finding may also be used to prevent the body from storing excessive amounts of cholesterol and collecting in the artery, basically preventing atherosclerosis before it begins.