Too much sugar can cause heart failure
New research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has found that a diet with too much sugar greatly increases a person’s risk of heart failure. The study found that specific glucose molecules – glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) – can lead to improper heart function. And so when someone consistently consumes too much sugar and starch, it can cause severe stress to the heart which could ultimately cause heart failure. Previous studies have suggested that people who consume high levels of added sugar, such as in processed foods and soda, are more likely to have higher heart disease risk factors.
The UTHealth study first observed animal models, then moved on to human tissue taken from patients who had a piece of their heart muscle removed so that an assistive device could be implanted. The results showed that G6P can cause significant damage to the heart muscle. If the heart is already stressed, excess glucose only worsens the cardiovascular pressure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 5 million people suffer from heart failure in the U.S. every year. Approximately half of the people diagnosed with the condition die within a year of diagnosis and more than half a million new cases of heart failure are reported every year.
The discovery that sugar could be linked directly to heart failure may provide an opportunity for people to prevent heart problems by focusing more on making changes in their diets.