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Hear t risk.

A FORM of junk food cholesterol virtually unknown to the public may pose the biggest threat of heart disease, research suggests.

Scientists want to raise public awareness of oxycholesterol, which is mostly found in fried and processed food and takeaways. Oxycholesterol can be formed when foods such as burgers and steaks are fried or grilled, causing their fats to react with oxygen.

The new research indicates that eating foods high in the substance gives an extra boost to blood cholesterol levels and is more likely to damage arteries than "ordinary" cholesterol. Most health warnings involve low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, which helps form hard deposits in the arteries called atherosclerotic plaques.

In addition there is high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, which is healthy for the heart.

Study leader Dr ZhenYu Chen, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: "Total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), and the heart-healthy highdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) are still important health issues. But the public should recognise that oxycholesterol is also important and cannot be ignored."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2009
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