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Type 1 diabetics have a well-recognised risk of accelerated cardiovascular disease. Even in the absence of clinical signs there are detectable abnormalities of conduit vessel function. Our group has previously reported reversal of endothelial dysfunction in diabetics with pravastatin. In young asymptomatic smokers, taurine supplementation has a beneficial impact on macrovascular function, assessed by FMD, and shows an up-regulation of nitric oxide from monocyte-endothelial cell interactions. We hypothesise that taurine supplementation reverses early endothelial abnormalities in young male type 1 diabetics, as assessed by applanation tonometry, brachial artery ultrasound and laser Doppler fluximetry. Asymptomatic, male diabetics (n=9) were scanned prior to treatment and then randomised in a double-blind cross-over fashion to receive either 2 weeks placebo or taurine. Control patients (n=10) underwent a baseline scan. Assessed diabetics had detectable, statistically significant abnormalities when compared with controls, in both arterial stiffness (augmentation index) and brachial artery reactivity (FMD). Both of these parameters were returned to control levels with 2 weeks taurine supplementation. In conclusion, 2 weeks taurine supplementation reverses early, detectable conduit vessel abnormalities in young male diabetics. This may have important implications in the long-term treatment of diabetic patients and their subsequent progression towards atherosclerotic disease.
Beaumont Hospital, Ireland.
This article was published in the following journal.
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