‘Compelling new insights’ point to natural treatment for age-related cardiovascular disease

Mar 19, 2024
A dedicated team of researchers have embarked on a mission to unlock the potential of a natural protein in safeguarding against the ravages of ageing on our hearts and blood pressure. Source: Getty Images.

Researchers in Melbourne, spearheaded by Monash University, have made exciting breakthroughs in the development of new medications aimed at managing blood pressure and addressing age-related changes in heart health.

As we grow older, we understand the toll that cardiovascular diseases take on our well-being. Inflammation, a known culprit in these ailments, is responsible for a staggering 40 per cent of elderly deaths. However, the intricate link between inflammation in middle age and its impact on heart health as we age remains a puzzle.

But now a dedicated team of researchers, led by the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) in partnership with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, have embarked on a mission to unlock the potential of a natural protein called Annexin A1 (ANXA1) in safeguarding against the ravages of ageing on our hearts and blood pressure.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Chengxue Helena Qin highlighted the lack of prior exploration into how ANXA1 and similar natural compounds could slow down the progression of age-related heart issues.

“In mice, our preclinical studies concluded that ANXA1 could play a critical role in controlling blood pressure, how well your heart works, and even stopping heart problems from getting worse,” Dr. Qin said.

“The research revealed that middle-aged mice lacking ANXA1 experienced more inflammation and damage in their hearts and blood vessels. This indicates that untreated inflammation might play a role in causing heart and blood vessel problems as we age. Consequently, it could open up new possibilities for treating high blood pressure and preventing heart issues linked to ageing.”

Co-senior author Professor Owen Woodman, a Professor in the Heart Failure Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Pharmacology labs at MIPS highlighted the study’s implications for ageing individuals.

“This study suggests that unresolved inflammation may contribute to cardiovascular dysfunction in ageing, and therefore could present a new therapeutic opportunity to regulate blood pressure and prevent age-associated cardiovascular disease,” Woodman said.

First author Jaideep Singh, a PhD candidate at MIPS, spoke about the unique approach taken in this research.

“We hypothesised that rather than tackling inflammation once cardiovascular diseases have already arisen, a more productive approach is to resolve inflammation as nature’s way to prevent or reverse the progression of cardiovascular diseases,” Singh said.

“As such, we focused on ANXA1 due to its ability to heal inflammation in nature’s way.

“Overall, our data reveal compelling new insights for the potential development of ANXA1-nature’s way to treat cardiovascular diseases, especially in an ageing population.”

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.



Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up