Study Suggest That Good Cholesterol Might Help Protect Liver

Cholesterol test or lipid profile test for detect dyslipidemia diseaseThe body’s good cholesterol may offer liver protection, according to new research from the Washington University School of Medicine. The study suggests that one type of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) may protect the liver by blocking inflammatory signals produced by common gut bacteria.

HDL cholesterol is known to pick up excess cholesterol in the blood and take it back to the liver, where it is broken down and removed from the body. But this new study has identified another use for HDL, specifically a type called HDL3.


This type of cholesterol, when produced by the intestine, blocks gut bacterial signals that cause liver inflammation. If not stopped, the bacterial signals travel from the intestine to the liver. This is when they activate immune cells that trigger an inflammatory state, which can eventually lead to liver damage.

Drugs that increase overall HDL levels have decreased in popularity in recent years because clinical trials showed no benefit in cardiovascular disease. However, this new research suggests raising levels of HDL3 in the intestine may protect against liver disease, which, like heart disease, is a chronic health problem affecting millions of Americans.

Various forms of intestinal damage can impact how a group of microbes can affect the body. These microbes, called gram-negative bacteria, produce an inflammatory molecule called lipopolysaccharide that can travel to the liver via the portal vein.

This vein is the major vessel that supplies blood to the liver and carries most nutrients to the liver after food is absorbed in the intestine. Substances from gut microbes could get into the nutrients from food which will activate immune cells that trigger inflammation. This will allow elements of the gut microbiome to drive liver disease, including fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis.

Previous Research on Liver Inflammation


Previous studies helped researchers understand what they were recording in their findings with mice. They found that in all models that included intestinal injury, HDL3 was protective, binding to the protein lipopolysaccharide, which is released from the intestine.

When the cholesterol binds to this protein and travels down the portal vein, it then binds to the harmful lipopolysaccharide. This complex combination stops the activation of immune cells called Kupffer cells which reside in the liver and, when activated by lipopolysaccharide, can cause inflammatory effects in the liver.

“We are hopeful that HDL3 can serve as a target in future therapies for liver disease,” senior author Gwendalyn J. Randolph, Ph.D. said. “We are continuing our research to better understand the details of this unique process.”

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.