A SWEET tooth can increase the chances of developing heart disease, according to research at Sheffield University.
For the first time, a higher phosphate diet has been shown to deposit cholesterol in the wall of arteries, which leads to narrowing of the arteries, the cause of most heart attacks and strokes.
Food high in phosphate includes biscuits, cakes and sweets as well as dairy products and meats such as offal and veal.
A proven link with atherosclerosis, the cause of heart disease, was found during research funded by the Sheffield Kidney Association and the National Institute for Health Research.
It demonstrates the importance of reducing phosphate levels in the human diet or possibly using drugs called binders or other agents that stop phosphate being absorbed.
Dr Tim Chico, of the university’s Department of Biomedical Science, who led the research, said: “This is a very early, but exciting finding, as it suggests that by reducing the amount of phosphate in the blood we may have discovered a new approach to reducing heart disease.
“We’re now hoping to extend our research further and look into developing new treatments to help reduce phosphate levels in the bloodstream.”