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Home Industry News Free radicals ‘may help to safeguard heart health’

Free radicals ‘may help to safeguard heart health’

7th October 2010

New research has discovered that free radical molecules may be playing a key role in preventing heart failure and other cardiac health problems.

A study funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has revealed that the highly reactive molecules – which have been previously thought to be bad for the body – may in fact help the heart to adapt to stresses such as high blood pressure.

The discovery came during experiments with mice, which showed that specimens given an enzyme which produces free radicals in the heart were much better at adapting to stress.

These findings demonstrate why antioxidants that neutralise free radicals have failed to deliver heart health benefits and potentially suggest new drug development pathways.

Professor Ajay Shah at the BHF Centre of Research Excellence at King's College London explained: "Some of these reactive molecules act as signals to promote protective pathways. We need to develop targeted therapies that remove damaging free radicals or promote the protective ones."

According to the BHF, around 2.6 million people in the UK are currently living with coronary heart disease.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800104248-ADNFCR

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