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Every day brings us closer to finding a cure for cardiovascular disease - New Zealand's number one killer. Here is the latest from our research laboratories.
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4 ways diet can help lower cholesterol

4 ways diet can help lower cholesterol

People often don’t think about cholesterol levels until the GP calls wanting to discuss the results from a yearly blood test check-up. It’s in that moment that you may start to wonder.

While genetics can influence cholesterol levels to a degree, the foods we eat also play a part. One of the main ways our diet can help lower cholesterol is by reducing LDL cholesterol – known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol and associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

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Chia Bliss Balls

Chia Bliss Balls

For such a tiny seed, chia is quite high in healthy fats boasting more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega-3's work to protect the heart by lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and inflammation. Inflammation can put strain on blood vessels and cause heart disease.

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'Good Cholesterol' helps people with diabetes heal

'Good Cholesterol' helps people with diabetes heal

Good cholesterol could help protect diabetics from heart disease complications and limb amputations that impact the lives of thousands each year. “Diabetics have reduced ability to form new blood vessels, putting them at risk of life threatening vascular complications, so to be able to find a potential solution to this problem is very exciting,” says HRI researcher Dr Christina Bursill.

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Meet our Researchers: Dr Christina Bursill, Immunobiology Group Leader

A passionate and inspired scientist, Dr Christina Bursill has led the Immunobiology Group since its formation in 2013. 

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Why are smokers more likely to get heart disease?

Smokers have a much higher risk of heart disease than non-smokers, with smokers about four times more likely to die from heart disease. New research from the Heart Research Institute’s Inflammation Group has uncovered a possible explanation for this higher risk: the presence of certain oxidants in the bloodstream, which may stop “good” cholesterol from doing its job.
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