Work by Richard Austin and his colleagues at McMaster University shows for the first time how caffeine consumption blocks the activation of the SREBP2 protein, which in turn causes a drop in the PCSK9 protein, a chain reaction that increases the liver’s ability to remove excess LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.
These results are very interesting. A new mechanism by which caffeine lowers cholesterol has been found. We had thought of all sorts of other mechanisms to explain the benefits of caffeine, its anti-inflammatory effect and on glucose metabolism… But here we come up with a much more precise mechanismsays clinical cardiologist Martin Juneau of the Montreal Heart Institute, who was not involved in the study.
A proven protective effect
Since the 1980s, several studies have shown the beneficial effects of regular coffee consumption on cardiovascular health and even on mortality in general.
This article is amazing. Its effect [le café] is similar to a class of molecules called anti-PCSK9. By countering PCSK9, they increase the amount of receptors, which lowers LDL cholesterolexplains Professor Juneau.
These PCSK9 inhibitors are exception drugs that are prescribed only to patients who cannot tolerate statins, the conventional treatment for lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, or who do not respond well to them.
” If you want to prescribe this type of drug to a patient in Canada, it’s $7,000 a year. It is a drug whose effect is fabulous, since it lowers LDL cholesterol by 60%. »
Towards new drugs
To verify the value of the discovery of the LDL cholesterol-lowering mechanism of caffeine, the McMaster team developed new caffeine derivatives that strongly reduce blood levels of PCSK9.
” What is also very interesting in their work is that their experiments carried out on cultured cells, on mice and on human volunteers all show the same anti-PCSK9 effect. »
The McMaster team hopes that their work will lead to the commercialization of new treatments that better control LDL cholesterol levels.
” They will try to develop molecules among the many caffeine derivatives, and will determine which is the most active to patent it. The goal is to make it a much cheaper drug than anti-PCSK9 on the market. »
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. They are the second leading cause in Canada, accounting for just over 20% of deaths.
Men are more likely than women to die from cardiovascular disease – nearly three times as likely for men under 65.