ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new vaccine that’s being tested could turn out to be an alternative to statin drugs.

ATO4A is an experimental drug that dramatically reduces the level of the so-called bad cholesterol associated with heart disease. It’s worked in laboratory mice, and now they’re about to try it on humans.

“These are very, very, very, preliminary and very early phase concepts in terms of this vaccine, but potentially very promising in terms of lowering LDL or bad cholesterol circulating in anybody’s bloodstream,” says SLU Care cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim at SSM Health SLU Hospital.

In the meantime, Lim says the best heart protection advice out there remains: eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and if you need to lower your cholesterol, take a statin to do it.

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