A Life Saver in More Ways Than One

Endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo have shown that, in human studies, insulin can also be used to treat heart disease.

In an August 8 news release, researcher Paresh Dandona, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of Kaleida Health’s Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York says, “This is a brand new property of insulin.”

Dandona and colleagues argue that, “for the first time…insulin produced an anti-inflammatory effect by decreasing concentration of certain pro-inflammatory components in the bloodstream and increasing concentrations of components that help prevent inflammation and damage to cells lining blood vessel walls.”

Dandona adds, “Since atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries] is the result of inflammation of the vessel wall, we believe insulin will prove to be anti-atherosclerotic in the long run.”

Although the study using insulin was conducted on non-diabetic individuals, the researchers also says the results of their study should indicate to physicians that they should not be reluctant to prescribe insulin when it is indicated for fear that it may increase the risk of heart attack in patients.

“It appears insulin has just the opposite effect. It may reduce the risk of heart attack.”

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