The protective effect of propionic acid
Dietary fiber, derived from, for example, whole grain products, and fruits, have a protective effect against the severe health effects of high blood pressure. This effect was already observed for a long time and diet companies rates of materials for years, to increase the intake of fiber. A German research team found out why the ballast substances have this positive effect. In digestion, the short chain fatty acid propionic acid, which acts like a drug on the organism.
Researchers of the Max Delbrück center for Molecular medicine and the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered why dietary fiber can protect our body from heart diseases. The degradation product of propionic acid, during the digestion of dietary fiber occurs, the protective function is responsible. According to the study, the propionic acid has a direct effect on the immune system and soothes such inflammatory processes, hypertension and other heart diseases driving. The results of the study were recently published in the journal “Circulation”.
Such as propionic acid, protects the heart
According to the research group, in particular the short-chain fatty acid propionic acid for the protective effect of dietary fiber responsible. The small molecule acting directly on the immune system and calm those immune cells, which drive blood pressure, and inflammatory processes drive. “Until our study, it has become clear that the substance takes the detour via the immune system and so on the heart and blood vessels acts”, reports Dr. Nicola Wilck and Hendrik Bart olomaeus in the press release of the study results.
Inflammatory processes are appeased
“In particular, those T-helper cells, which fuel the inflammatory processes and high blood pressure the causes of things, would be so calm,” write the experts. This affects directly on the efficiency of the heart. The fatty acid is propionic acid to protect against the consequences of hypertension, such as hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), tissue remodeling of the heart and heart rhythm disturbances.
Heart disease, mice live longer with propionic acid
The positive effect of propionic acid tested, the Team of mice. Electrical stimuli were triggered at 70 percent of the animals heart rhythm disturbances. In mice, previously treated with propionic acid, the artificial triggering of the disturbance, only 20 percent of the animals. Through ultrasound examinations, Tissue samples and cell analyses, the researchers documented that the propionic acid in blood decreased pressure-induced damage to the cardiovascular System of the animals and their survival rate is significantly increased.
Like a drug
“Propionic acid is effective against a range of high blood pressure-induced damage to the cardiovascular system,” says group leader Professor Dominik N. Müller. The Team comes to the conclusion that the acid might also be suitable as a stand-alone drug for the treatment of hypertension. “Interesting, this could be, especially for the treatment of patients who have too little of this fatty acid,” said the Professor.
Propionic acid soon as a stand-alone drug available?
The research group believes that in the short-chain fatty acid is a new possibility for the therapy of heart diseases. “Maybe it makes sense, propionic acid, or a chemical precursor directly as a drug to administer,” said Dr. Wilck. Prior to this it had to prove themselves propionic acid but still in the hospital. Since the fatty acid is already approved for human consumption and is used for example as a preservative, are the hurdles to the introduction, however, is low. “Under these favorable conditions, the propionic acid it creates, hopefully, quickly made the leap from the laboratory to the Affected,” concluded the expert.