Pioneering iron research has application in heart health and diabetes
Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. However, it has an often-underestimated downside: it plays a role in cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and more. For example, an abundance of iron can contribute to heart failure.
A groundbreaking new study, led by science Professor Gary Sweeney, examined the impact of iron overload on insulin sensitivity. The study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, involved experimental work by PhD student James Jahng. It was undertaken in collaboration with the University of Ottawa and Ryerson University.
The researchers made a startling discovery, published in EMBO Reports (2019), that could affect future approaches and treatments for patients with heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Sweeney (York Research Chair in Mechanisms of Cardiometabolic Diseases) and Jahng (recipient of CIHR’s Frederick Banting & Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship) sit down with Brainstorm to discuss the research and its far-reaching ramifications.
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