What causes heart disease? A simple enough question, and one you might have thought was settled years ago.
But the answer has become a subject of much debate — with implications for many of us on how we lead our lives and the medication we take.
For years the finger of blame has pointed at cholesterol, a fatty substance produced by the liver.
While some cholesterol is vital (it helps produce hormones and vitamin D, for instance), the consensus has been that too much — or rather, too much of the bad form, known as low density lipoproteins (LDL) — damages the blood vessels. This leads to risk of blood clots, heart attacks and stroke.
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