e as people become conscious how important it is in determining CVD risk.
And while Proctor and his colleagues believe chylomicrons contribute considerably to the development of CVD, they feel more tests need to be done to find out why. They currently don't know if a diet of sugary, high-fat foods is the sole cause of high levels of apoB48 in children or if high levels of apoB48 are the result of a genetic imbalance that does not allow some people to metabolize sugary, high-fat foods adequately.
"Right now we think it's probably a combination of both a poor diet and genetics that make a person produce high levels of apoB48," Proctor said.
He added that as we learn more about the effect of intestinal cholesterol, we will be better prepared to lay down treatments to prevent CVD.
"For some people exercise and diet changes may be the best prescription, for others it may be a pharmaceutical intervention, and, indeed, in some cases a combination of both may be required," Proctor said, adding that pharmaceutical companies are currently on the cusp of producing new drugs that target the reduction of chylomicron cholesterol.
"We already know that it's not simply how much you weigh that makes you susceptible to CVD. It's also how much fat you have and the type of fat you have that is important. A marker such as apoB48 may be just the clue we need to determine whether or not you are at risk, and, if you are, the best methods we can prescribe to reduce the risk, particularly in our young population as they grow older, Proctor added.
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