Vitamin A may protect the heart from harm of obesity

Credit: David Holifield / Unsplash

In a study from Hannover Medical School in Germany, scientists found greater harm to genes involved in heart function when coupled with vitamin A deficiency.

The finding suggests that vitamin A may protect the heart from some harmful effects of obesity.

In the study, the team induced obesity in a mouse model of vitamin A deficiency. After 20 weeks, the researchers compared the hearts and metabolism of the mice to obese mice with sufficient levels of vitamin A.

They found the vitamin-deficient obese mice had repression of genes in the heart that are linked to extracting energy from fat, extracting energy from glucose, and the production of the energy-carrying molecule adenosine triphosphate.

All of these areas are critical to metabolic functioning.

This study showed a role for vitamin A in preserving heart energetic gene expression that might reduce the subsequent development of dysfunction in obesity.

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The study was conducted by Lea Naasner et al and published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

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