Sugary way to stave off heart disease

Sydney: Mary Poppins was right when she said that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down -- scientists have now stumbled upon a sugary way to keep heart disease at bay.

Corin Storkey, scientist at the Heart Research Institute, made the discovery while working for his PhD under Carl Schiesser, a professor at the Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne.

Storkey and Schiesser with other colleagues have formulated new heart disease preventatives based on sugar and selenium, the journal Chemical Communications reported.

"Mary Poppins was right in saying - a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down," said Storkey, according to a university statement.

"Although these compounds are not the kind of sugar most people would buy as a Valentine`s Day gift, we are still very excited by their potential to maintain a healthy heart," he said.

"Our seleno-sugar compounds work by scavenging hypohalous acids, a group of highly reactive chemicals that can damage tissues when produced in the wrong place, at the wrong time or at excessive levels," said Schiesser.

"One predictor of future heart disease in patients is the raised level of the enzyme that produces these hypohalous acids," he added.

"We are hoping that in the future our new chemicals will keep matters of the heart sweet, well, at least health-wise," said Storkey.


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