New research reports that eating a high-fat diet may activate the heart response that causes destructive growth and increases the risk of heart attacks.
In a paper published in Biochemistry and Biophysical Research CommunicationIn, the researchers looked at the effect of feeding mice a high-fat diet on levels of oxidative stress on heart cells. A team from the University of Reading found that mice cells had twice the amount of oxidative stress, which led to an increase in heart cell volume by up to 1.8 times due to the enlarged heart associated with heart disease.
Senior Designated Author Dr Sonbal Noreen Bhatti, from the University of Reading said:
Our research demonstrates one way in which a high-fat diet can damage the muscle cells that make up our hearts. The switch appears to occur at the cellular level when mice are fed a high-fat diet resulting in increased activity of the innocuous protein, Nox2. The exact nature of how Nox2 protein causes oxidative damage and initiates destructive enlargement is still under investigation.
“We’re really just scratching the surface of how Nox2 protein responds to diets, but our research clearly shows that high-fat diets have the potential to do great damage to the heart.”
The researchers focused on a key protein Nox2 believed to be linked to increased oxidative stress in the heart. The study found that mice fed a high-fat diet had twice the amount of Nox2 activity, which also resulted in a similar amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are free radicals linked to pathological damage to the body.
To verify whether Nox2 was involved in causing cardiac stress, the team compared the results with mice that were specially bred to “eliminate” Nox2, which halted the protein’s activation at the cellular level. The “lost” mice were also fed a high-fat diet, but showed little or no elevated levels of oxidative stress.
In addition, the team used three experimental treatments known to reduce the production of ROS associated with Nox2, and they found that all three showed some promising results in reducing the effect of reactive oxygen species in damaging the hearts of mice.
Mice fed a high-fat diet received 45% of their calories from fat, 20% from protein and 35% from carbohydrates.
Full citation: Bhatti, SN and Li, JM, 2020. Nox2-dependent redox regulation of Akt and ERK1 / 2 for enhanced left ventricular hypertrophy in rat dietary obesity. Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communication. DOI: 10.1016 / j.bbrc.2020.05.162
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