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  • Leptin may contribute to obesity-related cardiovascular problems


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Sunday, June 20, 2004 10:42 am Email this article
    Leptin, the hormone released from fat cells discovered in 1994, that was once hoped to be a treatement for obesity, may contribute to hypertension, atherosclerosis, and an enlargement of the left pumping chamber of the heart which increases the risk of heart failure (left ventricular hypertrophy) according to a new paper from researchers at the University of Iowa.

    Leptin appears to stimulate inflammation of blood vessels, oxidative stress and enlargement of the heart (hypertrophy).

    Leptin has a blood pressure-raising effect. It also potentiates the blood pressure-raising effect of insulin.

    It is also interesting to note that angiotensin II stimulates production of leptin. According to other research, angiotensin II receptor blockers, such as Atacand (candesartan cilexetil), which are are used to lower blood pressure, increase levels of angiotensin II. A dose of 8 mg of Atacand increases angiotensin II levels 4-fold, and 16 mg of Atacand increases angiotensin II levels 7-fold. In older people blood levels of the drug are about 50 percent higher than in younger people, which probably also further elevate levels of angiotensin II in older people.

    It would be interesting to know if leptin levels are elevated in people taking angiotensin II receptor blockers, such as Atacand, and if weight loss is associated with taking the drug, and if the drug is associated with the above problems associated with leptin.

    Leptin levels are elevated in people who are overweight.

    REFERENCE

    Correia M, Haynes W. Leptin, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2004 Mar, 13(2):215-23.

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