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Lunchtime talk will cover the bad side of good cholesterol

September 30, 2013

The talk, "When HDL Gets Fat: Impact of Dietary Fat on HDL (Good) Cholesterol," is part of the Brown Bag lunch speaking series at UW-Stout.

Attendees may bring a lunch, but hopefully it's a low-fat one. Peterson will discuss research she has been doing on HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol for five years, especially in the past year.

Kerry PetersonHDL cholesterol helps remove bad cholesterol from the bloodstream, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Low levels of HDL also are linked to obesity.

Peterson will discuss a blood enzyme that of late has been getting attention from researchers. The enzyme, when stimulated by fat in the blood "causes HDL particles to gain fat," Peterson said.

When that happens, HDL levels drop and bad cholesterol levels rise. If HDL cholesterol is too low, it can't effectively remove bad cholesterol from artery walls.

"I'll explain how we are using an innovative stable (nonradioactive) isotope method to understand this mechanism and specifically how dietary fat impacts the composition of HDL particles," Peterson said.

By better understanding how fat in the blood affects HDL, experts can "design more effective strategies for prevention and treatment of low HDL cholesterol for reducing the incidence of heart disease," she added.

The talk, sponsored by College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, is free and open to the public.

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