Lipid-lowering medications: Fibrates

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Lipid-lowering medications: Fibrates


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Lipid-lowering medications: Fibrates

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Bezafibrate p. 327


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Fibrates are a group of lipid-lowering medications, along with statins and niacin.

These medications are very effective at lowering triglyceride levels in the blood, but are less effective at controlling cholesterol.

Now, triglycerides make up most of your body fat, and they consist of a glycerol and 3 fatty acids.

So when we eat a box of chili fries, the fatty acids and cholesterol are absorbed into the cells in the small intestine.

The fatty acids are then converted into triglycerides.

However, triglycerides and cholesterol are not water soluble, so they can’t travel freely in the blood. To fix this, our body makes “shipping boxes” called lipoproteins.

These containers consist of a shell made of phospholipids and protein tags that act as instructions for their destination.

So after absorption, the small intestinal cells package the triglycerides and cholesterol into the largest, but least dense lipoproteins, called chylomicrons.

These are released into the lymphatic system and then enter the bloodstream via the subclavian vein. Then, they travel through the blood to reach the liver and other tissues in the body.

Now in the blood vessels near these tissues, we have an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which can break down triglycerides into fatty acids.

Cells in the nearby tissue can then use these fatty acids to generate ATP.

Adipose tissue can synthesize a lot of lipoprotein lipases, which means they have access to a lot of fatty acids.

Now, instead of using the fatty acids for energy, they pick them up, convert them back into triglycerides, and store them for later use.


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  2. "Rang and Dale's Pharmacology" Elsevier (2019)
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  6. "PPAR-Induced Fatty Acid Oxidation in T Cells Increases the Number of Tumor-Reactive CD8+ T Cells and Facilitates Anti–PD-1 Therapy" Cancer Immunology Research (2018)
  7. "Use of fenofibrate on cardiovascular outcomes in statin users with metabolic syndrome: propensity matched cohort study" BMJ (2019)

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