A Shot To Combat Cholesterol

Doctors plan to test a new anti-cholesterol vaccine that could revolutionize the treatment of heart disease, reports Correspondent Dr. Michael Breen of CBS station WBBM-TV in Chicago.

A Chicago clinic will be the first in the world to test the vaccine on humans. It was previously shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease in animals.

The vaccine is simply injected in your arm as a shot, and doesn't require medication.

"It's going to be a great thing instead of having a medication every day," says Liz Sadler of the Chicago Center For Clinical Research.

The body can turn "good" cholesterol, called HDL into "bad" cholesterol, or LDL. The new vaccine blocks that conversion and raises your good cholesterol.

In laboratory tests, the vaccine raised the animal's good cholesterol by 40 percent. Further studies showed the vaccine didn't just raise their health HDL levels, it actually reduced the blocks that cause heart attacks.

"This first issue is just looking to see if we can boost up the good cholesterol," said Dr. Michael Davidson of the Chicago Center For Clinical Research. "The next study which is following up in a few months will actually see if we can reverse the build-up of hardening of the arteries."

"If we can do that, this will be major contribution to medical science," he added.