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New research may suggest another role for a molecule to help prevent heart damage

Scientists have some evidence that a molecule called C-peptide may help prevent some of the cardiovascular complications that people with diabetes are at risk from.

Researchers from the University of Leeds found that a naturally occurring substance, C-peptide, may protect the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart from the potential damaging effects of living with diabetes.

The body makes C-peptide alongside insulin, but in people with Type 1 diabetes and some people with Type 2 diabetes the body does not make either of these molecules and insulin treatment is given to help control blood glucose levels.

Further investigation is needed

“This research, undertaken in isolated tissue from people without diabetes, indicates that C-peptide could also play a role in protecting against some of the cardiovascular related complications of diabetes, but further investigation is needed to confirm this and before it can be shown that giving C-peptide treatment to people with diabetes can help protect them from some of the diabetes related cardiovascular risk associated with diabetes," said Dr Victoria King, Research Manager at Diabetes UK.

Side-effects of insulin should not be overplayed

Benefits far outweigh any risk

“It must be remembered that any side-effects of insulin to the heart that this study notes should not be overplayed, and it should be remembered that what we do know is that the benefits of insulin to people with diabetes far outweigh any risk that could exist.”

Insulin a vital part of treatment for many people with diabetes

For all people with Type 1 diabetes and some people with Type 2 diabetes, treatment with insulin is a vital part of daily diabetes management.

Effective diabetes management – maintaining blood glucose, blood fat and blood pressure as near normal as possible - is key to help reduce a person’s risk of long term diabetes complications including heart disease, kidney damage and blindness.

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