Diabetes: Are Antioxidants Really a Good Idea?

Kumar Sharma, M.D. Professor of Medicine Director, Institute of Metabolomic Medicine Director, Center for Renal Translational Medicine University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093-0711MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kumar Sharma, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Director, Institute of Metabolomic Medicine
Director, Center for Renal Translational Medicine
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0711

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Sharma: Main findings are that diabetes is associated with reduced superoxide production in the kidney and heart and that stimulation of superoxide production with AMPK led to improvement in organ function.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Sharma: Yes, these were the first in vivo imaging studies to look at real time superoxide production. As per the prevailing theory we expected to see an increase in mitochondrial superoxide production with diabetes, but we saw the opposite.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Sharma: Our data, coupled with other reports, suggest that anti-oxidants may not be a good idea for chronic disease such as diabetic kidney disease. We need to understand individual sources of reactive oxygen species much better before we could identify if any anti-oxidants are useful.

Dr. Sharma:  New treatments to improve mitochondrial function may be beneficial. The challenge will be to identify the right drugs and the best way to monitor response in patients.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Sharma: Use of real time imaging approaches will be very revealing in many disease states linked to reactive oxygen species. We will also need to better understand how and why mitochondrial function is reduced in diabetes and what is the best method to regulate function and protect organs.

Citation:

AMPK dysregulation promotes diabetes-related reduction of superoxide and mitochondrial function.

Dugan LL, You YH, Ali SS, Diamond-Stanic M, Miyamoto S, Decleves AE, Andreyev A, Quach T, Ly S, Shekhtman G, Nguyen W, Chepetan A, Le TP, Wang L, Xu M, Paik KP, Fogo A, Viollet B, Murphy A, Brosius F, Naviaux RK, Sharma K.
J Clin Invest. 2013 Oct 25. pii: 66218. doi: 10.1172/JCI66218. [Epub ahead of print]

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