Researchers at the University of Montreal and CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) have recently harnessed retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, and potentially focussed its benefits to treating obesity, diabetes and the associated heart complications that may follow these conditions.
The retinoic acid derived from vitamin A was seen to reduce the risk of cardiac apoptosis (cell death), whilst stimulating the release of cardio- protective genes that were otherwise suppressed by the diseases. It was thought that retinoic acid might also reduce the formation of collagen in the cardiac muscle, this might reduce the onset of fibrosis and potential vascular complications.
Daniel-Constantin Manolescu, one of the first authors of the study explains:
"Blood glucose, insulin resistance, body weight, and adipocyte size were significantly decreased in treated animals, including abdominal fat, while dietary intake and physical activity were similar for treated or non-treated animals. This suggests an increase in basal energy expenditure,"
"Our studies on animals show that retinoic acid induces normalization of blood glucose and reduction of obesity. It is an important contribution to understanding RA action on the liver, fat, muscles, and the heart, and on retinoid metabolism, energy metabolism, fatty acid oxidation, and insulin resistance. Our research identifies new metabolic effects of retinoids and may lead to anti-obesity and anti-diabetic medicines,".
Science Daily, (2014). Vitamin A derivative potentially treats type 2 diabetes, prevents its cardiovascular complications. Retrieved 24th June, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616141419.htm