Diabetes drug may help protect heart health of obese people

Preventing high blood sugar could help protect the heart of obese people against chronic diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Here is why.

Bacteria and microorganisms are able to survive in obese mice. In around 50 of obese individuals these organisms are able to survive and resist the destruction of their own mitochondria. This may explain the high incidence of diabetic complications in patients who are overweight or severely obese.

An increase in circulating sugar has previously shown benefits for diabetic patients. In one study patients who were obese had less blood sugar than healthy subjects. This has made it difficult to monitor the patients and assess the effects of the treatment on glycaemia.

We found a benefit for the length of stay due to a drop in blood glucose and as a consequence we didnt have time to measure the effect of the therapy on the patients glycaemia said Matthias Dauer who founded the research group at the Department of Medicine Medicina FAS (Rosenberg Clinic) at the University Hospital of Bonn Bass Switzerland.

One of the most commonly used medications for diabetic patients is metformin. In future it might be possible to administer metformin through a dosingpositioning hormone-like substance. The researchers reported that they were able to reverse the negative effects of metformin on the heart.

The results of the mouse studies could be applicable to humans in a number of ways as obese patients are also known to have lower levels of antioxidant and catalase in the blood. Our results imply that patients with low concentrations of these biomarkers could benefit from shorter-acting approaches to prevent damage to cardiac tissue explained Dauer.

While the effect of metformin on blood glucose and the endothelial cell loss in obese individuals has so far been assessed in vitro it seems that therapeutic options should be considered in larger animal models added Emily Davis a Ph. D. student in the Dauer group who carried out the research.

Next the researchers intend to examine whether metformin can also be used to treat humans susceptible to heart diseases.