Given its role in many biochemical processes essential to life, cholesterol remains a topic of intense research. Of all the plasma lipids, cholesterol is distinctive because it is a precursor to steroidogenic molecules, some of which regulate metabolism, and its blood concentration in the form of low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) are positive and negative risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). New research, however, has challenged the widely held belief that high HDL-C levels are atheroprotective and is showing that both low and high plasma HDL-C levels confer an increased risk of ASCVD. Furthermore, it is disputing the widely cited mechanism involved in reverse cholesterol transport. This review explores the evolution of cholesterol research starting with the Gofman and Framingham studies, the development of traditional and emerging lipid-lowering therapies, and the role of reverse cholesterol transport in HDL cardioprotection.
- lipid risk factors
- lipid therapeutics
- reverse cholesterol transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas