An international team of scientists from Norway and Canada (Khalid. 2011) has now discovered that the artificial fatty acid tetradecylthioacetic acid, which was originally intended as a drug for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome, might have the potential to protect type II diabetics from heart attacks.
In a previous study (Hafstad. 2009) the scientists had already shown that TTA does increase myocardial fatty acid oxidation in normal mice, a finding that would generally suggest impaired cardiac efficiency and thus be considered detrimental. In the current study on hyperlipidemic [high blood lipid levels] type 2 diabetic mice, however, TTA-treatment (0.5%, 8 days) had almost opposite effects on on cardiac metabolism and function
We found that TTA treatment increased myocardial FA oxidation, not only in non-diabetic (db/+) mice, but also in diabetic (db/db) mice, despite a clear lipid-lowering effect. While TTA had deleterious effects in hearts from non-diabetic mice (decreased efficiency and impaired mitochondrial respiratory capacity), these effects were not observed in db/db hearts. In db/db hearts TTA improved ischemic tolerance, an effect that is most likely related to TTA's antioxidant property.Being a specifically designed (Pan-)PPAR-ligand [TTA seems to activate all PPAR-receptors] the lipid lowering effect of TTA was to be expected. The differential effect on heart function in healthy and diabetic rats, however, comes as a surprise and reminds us, again, that not all that has been shown to help sick people is beneficial - and sometimes its not even safe! - for the healthy part of the population.
|Figure 1: Myocardial fatty acid and glucose oxidation in hearts of db/+ (white 545 |
bars) and db/db (gray bars) mice. Results are mean of 8-9 hearts in each group. (Khalid. 2011)