5 December 2022

Nutrition as medicine for heart failure in diabetes

Treat heart failure in type 2 diabetes with simple nutritional supplements? That seems too easy to be true, but researchers at Maastricht UMC+ have discovered that a particular mixture of amino acids could provide a cure for diabetic heart failure. A crucial step in addressing a problem facing a growing group of patients.

Balance theory


The basis for this discovery was laid some 20 years ago by biochemist and cell biologist Prof. Dr. Jan Glatz, who retired in 2021. He supervised the latest research and sees this discovery as a reward after years of work: "My colleagues and I have unraveled the function of proteins in cardiac muscle cells step by step. This began in 2004 with the balance theory, the hypothesis that the heart functions properly only when there is a certain balance in the consumption of fatty acids and glucose in the energy system. This hypothesis turned out to be correct, and we discovered that certain proteins can influence this balance. That a simple combination of amino acids can again influence the function of such a protein and thus can now possibly be used as a medicine is a spectacular next step. 

 I look forward with enthusiasm to the follow-up research!   


During the annual congress of the Society for Heart and Vascular Metabolism (SHVM) in Seoul, South Korea, Glatz received the William C. Stanley Award. He received this award for his outstanding contribution to scientific knowledge in the field of cardiac energy metabolism. The SHVM was founded in 2001 with the goal of stimulating the exchange of knowledge between researchers working in the field of cardiovascular metabolism. This is done by organizing an annual congress in which young researchers participate alongside experienced researchers. Over the past twenty years, SHVM has contributed significantly to our current understanding that disturbances in the energy management of the heart are one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. The William C. Stanley Award, named for the founder of the SHVM, is intended for researchers who have made outstanding contributions to this knowledge.

Dit bericht is gebaseerd op een nieuwsbericht van het Maastricht UMC+.