Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common heart drug's link to diabetes uncovered by researchers

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Statins activated a very specific immune response, which stopped insulin from doing its job properly, researchers have found. They connected the dots and found that combining statins with another drug on top of it, Glyburide, suppressed this side effect. Approximately 13 million people, or half of those over the age of 40, could be prescribed a statin drug in their lifetime.

Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and Canadian Diabetes Association Scholar, led the research team for the study that linked statins to diabetes.
Credit: Image courtesy of McMaster University

McMaster University researchers may have found a novel way to suppress the devastating side effect of statins, one of the worlds' most widely used drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

Related Articles


The research team -- led by Jonathan Schertzer, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Canadian Diabetes Association Scholar -- discovered one of the pathways that link statins to diabetes. Their findings could lead to the next generation of statins by informing potential combination therapies while taking the drug.

Approximately 13 million people, or half of those over the age of 40, could be prescribed a statin drug in their lifetime.

"Statins are among the most prescribed drugs in the world, and have been fantastic at reducing cardiovascular events," Schertzer says. "But the side effects of statins can be far worse than not being able to eat grapefruit. Recently, an increased risk of diabetes has been added to the warning label for statin use. This was perplexing to us because if you are improving your metabolic profile with statins you should actually be decreasing the incidence of diabetes with these drugs, yet, the opposite happened."

Schertzer's group investigated further. "We found that statins activated a very specific immune response, which stopped insulin from doing its job properly. So we connected the dots and found that combining statins with another drug on top of it, Glyburide, suppressed this side effect."

He says the finding has the potential to develop new targets for this immune pathway that do not interfere with the benefits of statins.

"It's premature to say we are going to change this drug, but now that we understand one way it can cause this side effect we can develop new strategies to minimize side effects. This may even include using natural products or nutritional strategies to subvert the side effects of statins," he says.

The next stage of their research is to understand how statins promote diabetes by understanding how they work in the pancreas, which secretes insulin. They also hope to better understand if this immune pathway is involved in other side effects of statins, such as muscle pain and life-threatening muscle breakdown.

Schertzer emphasizes that statins are important and widely prescribed drugs and understanding how they promote adverse effects may lead to necessary improvements in this drug class, which has the potential to affect a large segment of the population.

"With the new federal warning label on the risk of diabetes with statin usage, people are heavily debating its pros and cons. We think this is the wrong conversation to have. Statins are a great drug for many people. What we really should be talking about is how to make them better and we are beginning to understand the basic biology of statins so we can do just that. The next step for our work is to understand if all of the major side effects of statins occur by acting on this specific immune-metabolism pathway."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brandyn D. Henriksbo, Trevor C. Lau, Joseph F. Cavallari, Emmanuel Denou, Wendy Chi, James S. Lally, Justin D. Crane, Brittany M. Duggan, Kevin P. Foley, Morgan D. Fullerton, Mark A. Tarnopolsky, Gregory R. Steinberg, and Jonathan D. Schertzer. Fluvastatin causes NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated adipose insulin resistance. Diabetes, June 2014 DOI: 10.2337/db13-1398 1939-327X

Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Common heart drug's link to diabetes uncovered by researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611112832.htm>.
McMaster University. (2014, June 11). Common heart drug's link to diabetes uncovered by researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611112832.htm
McMaster University. "Common heart drug's link to diabetes uncovered by researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611112832.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins