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article imageSugar overload is dangerous for the heart

By Tim Sandle     Jun 18, 2013 in Health
Too much sugar in a diet appears to be a trigger for heart problems, according to new research. Certain types of glucose appear to have an adverse effect on heart muscle.
A research finding indicates that a single small molecule found in sugar (a glucose metabolite) causes stress to the heart that changes the muscle proteins and induces poor pump function leading to heart failure. What appears to happen is that when the heart muscle is already stressed from high blood pressure or other diseases then takes in too much glucose, leading to potential problems.
According to the American Heart Association, the major sources of added sugars are regular soft drinks, sugars, candy, cakes, cookies, pies and fruit drinks (fruitades and fruit punch); dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk); and other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles).
The findings are based on 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 as part of surgical procedures.
In terms of treatment, the most promising drugs are rapamycin (an immunosuppressant) and metformin (a diabetes medication). These medications disrupt the signalling of glucose and appear to improve cardiac power in small animal studies.
The study has been carried out by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The findings have been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
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