According to a new study, too much of sugar can be damaging for the heart, and might be a pathway to heart failure.
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, have said that a single small molecule, the glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate, causes stress to the heart that changes the muscle proteins and induces poor pump function leading to heart failure, G6P can accumulate from eating too much starch and/or sugar.
Heinrich Taegtmeyer, professor of cardiology says that, “Physicians can give diuretics to control the fluid, and beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors to lower the stress on the heart and allow it to pump more economically.
But we still have these terrible statistics and no new treatment for the past 20 years.”
Taegtmeyer performed preclinical trials in animal models, as well as tests on tissue taken from patients at the Texas Heart Institute, who had a piece of the heart muscle removed in order to implant a left ventricle assist device.
Both led to the discovery of the damage caused by G6P.
“When the heart muscle is already stressed from high blood pressure or other diseases, and then takes in too much glucose, it adds insult to injury,” Taegtmeyer said.
Researchers said the study has opened doors to possible new treatments.
Two drugs, rapamycin and metformin disrupt signalling of G6P and improved cardiac power in small animal studies, they said.
“These drugs have a potential for treatment and this has now cleared a path to future studies with patients,” Taegtmeyer said.