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Today's Top Medical Stories for Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kidney disease patients may want to start eating citrus fruits.. and a possible new way to treat high cholesterol.
Kidney disease patients may want to start eating citrus fruits.. and a possible new way to treat high cholesterol.

A new class of drugs cuts levels of bad cholesterol by up to 57-percent according to a new study. The drugs -- called RNA interference -- protect receptors that clear bad cholesterol from the blood. Researchers say more studies need to be done, but the drugs could eventually be an alternative for the 20 percent of patients who are resistant to cholesterol-reducing statins. 

A new study finds statins not only lower cholesterol, they also reduce inflammation associated with gum disease. Researchers at Harvard gave patients with heart disease a daily dose of the medication and found significant improvement in their gums as well as their arteries.  The study suggests that steps taken to reduce gum disease may also reduce inflammation in the arteries and vice versa.

And researchers in London say a chemical found in grapefruit and other citrus fruits can block the formation of kidney cysts. They say their discovery is a step forward in understanding how to control polycystic kidney disease. It's an inherited disorder that can lead to the loss of kidney function, high blood pressure and the need for dialysis.


(Marlie Hall for CBS News)

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