AURORA, Colo. (March 18, 2010) – A research project at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is examining new ways to reduce risks of heart attacks and diabetes for nearly a quarter of the U.S. population.
The project, which will measure the effect of an over-the-counter nutritional supplement, is led by Robert Eckel, MD, the former president of the American Heart Association.
The effort focuses on reducing health risks for people with what is called the metabolic syndrome. About 25 percent of Americans have it and they have twice the average risk for heart disease and five times the risk for diabetes.
The syndrome exists in someone who has three or more of these risk factors:
large waist circumference (greater than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men)
high blood pressure (greater than 130/85 or on treatment)
elevated blood sugar (glucose) concentration but without diabetes
lipid disturbances including high triglycerides
lower levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol
One of the key factors behind the higher health risks is a problem called oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes problems in several ways. The body produces too much oxygen, which can cause damage to tissues. And it is hard for the human body to eliminate this excess oxygen or repair the damage it causes.
The study will try to determine if an over-the-counter supplement called Protandim helps reduce oxidative stress. Protandim is a nutraceutical, a supplement containing multiple nutrients.
“Many people suffer from the metabolic syndrome,” according to Eckel, a professor in the School of Medicine. “We are trying to learn whether a product that is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain can help them.”
Participants in the study will be given Protandim or a placebo, then will switch to the other. Through blood samples, their oxidative stress will be tracked over three months. They will need to make five visits to the Clinical Translational Research Center at the University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Those in the study will be financially compensated for their visits.
People interested in participating in the study should contact Professional Research Assistant Jamie Palmer at 303-724-5972 or [email protected]
The Anschutz Medical Campus is a model for the type of interdisciplinary research in translational medicine that will take basic discovery “from the bench to the bedside.”
Faculty at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the CU Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is located on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit the CU Denver newsroom online.
Contact: Dan Meyers, 303.724.5377, [email protected]