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Researchers Discover Link Between High Cholesterol and Osteoarthritis

High cholesterol
Most people are familiar with how harmful high cholesterol can be for heart health, but scientists have just discovered another way bad cholesterol can hurt the body. It turns out that high cholesterol can trigger the death of cartilage cells, contributing to the joint disease osteoarthritis. A group of Chinese and Australian researchers made the discovery while studying mice and rats altered to mimic hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) in humans, usually considered to be 240 mg/dL or higher total blood cholesterol. The researchers fed some of the rodents a high-cholesterol diet and some a normal diet, then used surgery to mimic a knee injury which would trigger osteoarthritis development. When the rodents developed osteoarthritis after their surgery, the researchers discovered the high-cholesterol rats and mice had more severe osteoarthritis than their peers. In addition to degraded cartilage, the high-cholesterol rodents had fewer and poorer proteoglycan proteins within their ca ...