Background: Patients with diabetes mellitus have an increased risk of mortality due to cardiovascular complications. Supplementation with specific sulphur-containing amino acids is rapidly emerging as a possible therapeutic adjuvant for diabetes and associated cardiovascular complications.
Observations: It is well-known that oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease, which is invariably associated with abnormal blood lipid profile, insulin resistance and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Cysteine and taurine are among the most common sulphur-containing amino acids and their cellular levels decline during diabetes that may contribute to the development of the cardiomyopathy. Although sulphur-containing agents exert multiple actions on cellular and subcellular functions in the heart, they also exhibit antioxidant properties and thus may exert beneficial effects in different pathophysiological conditions.
Conclusion: It is concluded that reduction of oxidative stress by cysteine and taurine may serve as an important mechanism for the attenuation of diabetes-induced subcellular and functional abnormalities in the heart.