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6 Aug 2013

Possible drug pathway for heart failure identified

High levels of the G6P metabolite could disrupt pump function and cause heart failure.

New research indicates that high sugar consumption could lead to heart failure - a medical condition that usually affects a patient's cardiovascular health throughout their entire life.

Glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) is a metabolite of sugar, and levels can accumulate and cause significant harm when people have high starch or sugar intake.

The molecule is a stressor which antagonises the cardiac muscle, disrupting muscle proteins in order to compromise the pump function.

Its effects are elevated in patients who already have poor cardiovascular health, meaning that those with hypertension and similar conditions could benefit by curbing glucose consumption.

This is according to a research team led by UTHealth Medical School's Dr Heinrich Taegtmeyer, which performed preclinical trials in animal models to investigate the impact on G6P on the heart.

Findings could have highlighted a potential opportunity for drug development, since previous studies have shown that some medicines inhibit G6P, thus potentially prevent heart failure.

Dr Taegtmeyer said that the immunosuppressant rapamycin and diabetes treatment metformin are potential treatments, and believes that conducting clinical trials is warranted.

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