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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

UAB Team Identifies Genetic “Off Switch” as a Potential Marker for Heart Disease

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) found that blood levels of triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol – established risk factors for heart disease – are higher when a gene called CPT1A is “switched off.” The gene encodes an enzyme that plays a critical role in converting dietary fats into energy, and, when DNA methylation effectively disables it, the metabolic function of that enzyme is compromised, resulting in fats staying in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy by the cells.