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National journal features Sanford research on metabolic syndrome

Journal of Lipid Research publishes findings by cardiovascular researchers

Shearer, Greg PhD 
 Greg Shearer, PhD
 Harris, William PhD
 Bill Harris, PhD
(Sioux Falls, SD) –Sanford Health’s Greg Shearer, PhD, and Bill Harris, PhD, recently published a study in the Journal of Lipid Research that advances treatment of metabolic syndrome.

The study, “Effects of prescription niacin and omega-3 fatty acids on lipids and vascular function in metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial,” explored the application of a combination of two drugs to treat metabolic syndrome. To read the study, click here.

Metabolic syndrome, which affects up to 35 percent of the U.S. adult population, is a group of risk factors that impairs vascular function. Abnormally low amounts of the “good” cholesterol in the blood, for example, can indicate the metabolic precursor, which can be an indicator of Type II diabetes.

The two drugs utilized in combination in the clinical trial, extended-release niacin and omega-3 fatty acids, were already shown effective when used independently. When used in combination, the drugsincreased vascular function, improved triglyceride (TG) levels and raised levels of the most important “good” cholesterol, known as high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

"Since metabolic syndrome is comprised of multiple relatively mild disturbances instead of a single big problem, the best strategy for managing it is still emerging,” said Dr. Shearer. “What's important about this discovery is a substantial improvement of three of the five disturbances that make up the condition."

Journal of Lipid Research

The Journal of Lipid Research publishes original articles focusing on the science of lipids in health and disease. The peer-reviewed publication emphasizes the regulation of lipid (fat) metabolism. Dr. Shearer guided a team of five researchers in the clinical trial. The double-blind study included 60 metabolic syndrome patients in Sioux Falls and lasted 16 weeks. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and by donations of study drugs from Abbott (Niaspan) and GlaxoSmithKline (Lovaza).

About Sanford Research/USD
Sanford Research/USD is a non-profit research organization formed between Sanford Health and the University of South Dakota. Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and represents the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities, eight states and three countries. In 2007, a transformational gift of $400 million by Denny Sanford provided for an expansion of children’s and research initiatives, specifically finding a cure for type 1 diabetes, and has given Sanford Research significant momentum in its goal of becoming one of the premiere research institutions in the United States and the world. Most recently, a subsequent gift of $100 million by Mr. Sanford has paved the way to establish Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research. 

With a team of more than 200 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including Children’s Health Research, Edith Sanford Breast Cancer, Cancer Biology, Cardiovascular Health, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention, and the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance (NIAHP).

Tim Gerszewski
Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 /
Follow me on Twitter @SanfordTimG