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HHS HealthBeat (August 21, 2013)

The oversweetened heart

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Being a sweetheart is a good thing for romance but apparently a bad thing for a real heart. Researcher Heinrich Taegtmeyer of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston saw this in data on heart cells.

Dr. Taegtmeyer says an overload of a product of sugar called G6P created an imbalance in protein in the heart:  

“The heart muscle cell is unable to cope with this protein load, and it starts to weaken – it contracts less strongly.”

He believes this can contribute to heart failure, so he advises people to watch their diets – notably sweets – and burn excess sugar by being physically active.

The study in the Journal of the American Heart Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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Last revised: August 21, 2013