A novel antioxidant drug known as Succinobucol, targeting the underlying roots of heart disease, can cut the risk of heart attack and strokes, a study suggests.
Current drugs used to prevent heart attacks aim at modifying risk factors. For example, Statins lower cholesterol, etc.
Succinobucol, on the other hand, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that target two underlying processes, oxidative stress and inflammation, that can play a role in heart disease, reported online edition of health Magazine WebMD.
Oxidative stress is where the body essentially has too many free radicals, which are waste products produced by the chemical reactions in the body.
Oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to the formation of artery-clogging plaque and blood clots that can break off, blocking blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack.
The new study by Jean-Claude Tardif director of research and a professor of medicine at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada and other researchers was aimed at to see if adding Succinobucol to standard drug therapy would reduce heart attacks among patients with heart disease.
The researchers studied 6,144 people at high risk of future health problems due to unstable angina (chest pain) or a previous heart attack. Almost all were already taking aspirin as well as Statin drugs, ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers to slow the heart rate and boost the heart's pumping ability.
About half were also given a Succinobucol pill once a day and the rest, a placebo.
Over the next two years, those on Succinobucol were 19 per cent less likely to die from heart disease, have a heart attack or die than those on placebo.
Also, only 1.6 per cent of those taking the drug developed diabetes as against 4.2 per cent on placebo. Succinobucol was extremely safe, with diarrhoea being the most frequent side effect, Tardif says.
"If the results pan out in future research we would have a whole new way of fighting heart disease," says Tardif.