New Study Links Prolonged Inactivity to Age-Specific Changes in Cholesterol Dynamics

Inactive older adults might get affected with Cholesterol A recent study delving into cholesteryl esters reveals how extended periods of inactivity might impact individuals, particularly as they age. Cholesteryl esters, compounds formed by linking cholesterol with fatty acids, are crucial in transporting cholesterol throughout the body.

As people grow older, their chances of being confined to a hospital bed or experiencing prolonged periods of inactivity rise. These extended inactive periods bring about various negative health outcomes, such as diminished insulin function and the loss of muscle mass, bone density, and strength. Scientists aim to deepen their understanding of the biological processes underlying these changes to develop treatments that mitigate the adverse effects of physical inactivity.


Trevor Romsdahl, a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, led the investigation.

He explained that they had examined cholesteryl esters in blood plasma collected during studies where participants underwent bed rest, with a focus on middle-aged and older adults. He mentioned that no prior study had scrutinized the specific molecular types of cholesteryl esters during bed rest. He added that previous research had primarily focused on measuring low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations.

Romsdahl presented the findings at Discover BMB, the yearly gathering of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which took place from March 23 to 26 in San Antonio.
Cholesteryl esters are crucial for vital biological functions like lipid metabolism, cellular operation, and overall health maintenance. Disruptions in cholesteryl ester metabolism can contribute to the onset of cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders.

Romsdahl remarked that there was limited data on the biological importance of cholesteryl esters with different types of fatty acids, noting that these could vary in chain length and saturation levels. He also mentioned that much of the research on cholesterol changes and bed rest had focused on younger adults.

In the recent study, Romsdahl’s team worked with Emily J. Arentson-Lantz, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch. They examined the plasma samples gathered during bed-rest studies that included middle-aged and older adults.


The team devised a sensitive analysis method utilizing liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry to pinpoint specific molecular types of cholesteryl esters. This method involved employing a highly hydrophobic C30 liquid chromatography column to separate various cholesteryl ester species based on their fatty acid composition.

The analysis revealed that certain cholesteryl esters tended to increase in middle-aged individuals but decrease in older adults during bed rest. However, similar changes were observed in both age groups when comparing post-recovery levels with pre-bed-rest levels.

Romsdahl noted that further research was necessary to understand the biological implications of those findings and their potential impact on health. He added that adjusting or supplementing diets with specific fatty acids could potentially shift cholesteryl ester species towards a healthier profile.

Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.