A study supported by Hamdan Medical Award reveals: Heart structure and function is compromised in diabetic rats receiving sucrose-enriched diet 14 April 2015
A study supported by a grant from Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences showed that sucrose-enriched diet compromises contraction and calcium transport and alters the expression of genes encoding a variety of cardiac muscle proteins in diabetic heart.
 
Prof. Chris Howarth, the Project Supervisor and the Chair of the Department of Physiology, College of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University said that:“The resultsof these experiments provide valuable new insight into the ways diet can affect heart function especially diabetic heart function”.
 
Prof. Howarth praised Sheikh Hamdan Medical Award’s Research Support Center whose main focus is to offer financial and logistical support for scientific research in the UAE with the aim ofbridging the gap betweenscientific research and clinical medicine.
 
Talking about his experiments Prof. Howarth said: “Two groups of diabetic and 2 groups of healthy rats were fed normal rat diet and either normal drinking water or water enriched with sugar for 8 months. The diabetic and healthy rats provided with sucrose water had higher blood glucose, ate less and drank more than diabetic and healthy rats provided with normal drinking water”.
 
“We found that cardiac muscle cell contraction was reduced in both diabetic and healthy rats fed on sucrose water. Interestingly, intracellular calcium was increased in the healthy rats and decreased in diabetic rats fed on sucrose water. The expression of genes encoding a variety of cardiac muscle proteins was also altered in healthy and diabetic rats fed sucrose water”. “Alterations in the pattern of gene expression may partly underlie disturbances in the mechanisms of calcium transport which in turn can have major effects on mechanical activity of the heart”.
 
For his part, Prof. Sehamuddin Galadari, Chairman of the Medical Research grant Committee of the Award’s center for research support, pointed out that the award support for the study goes in line with the general strategy of the UAE, which seeks to limit the spread of the non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases, cancers and respiratory diseases.
 
Prof. Sehamuddin Galadari has appealed the health institutions in the UAE to unify its efforts to raise the awareness and promote the protective ways against these diseases. He spoke about the importance of the study which stresses the importance of being on a healthy diet to control the disease and prevent its evolution to further diseases that may affect the heart muscle and its vital functions.
 
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