The right diet for heart failure.

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In an animal model, heart failure in mice was treated by switching to a high-fat or ketogenic diet. In this way, the disease could be completely prevented or even reversed.

Special forms of nutrition appear to be able to prevent or correct heart failure, according to a study involving researchers from Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The study was published in the English language journal “Nature Metabolism”.

A high-fat or ketogenic diet can completely prevent or even reverse heart failure caused by a metabolic process. This reflects the influence of diet on general health and specifically on the heart.

What types of diet protect against heart failure?

The findings suggest that eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet could be a nutritional intervention to treat heart failure, says study author Kyle S. McCommis.

However, limited flexibility is associated with heart dysfunction in diseases such as diabetes and heart failure.

Heart failure reversed in mice

The heart muscle (myocardium) needs large amounts of energy stored in nutrients to support heart contraction. To maintain its high metabolic capacity, the heart is flexible and can adapt to changing metabolic fuel supplies during different developmental, nutritional or physiological conditions.

The new study shows that the expression of MPC is decreased in failing hearts of humans and mice and that a genetic deletion of MPC in mice leads to cardiac remodeling and dysfunction, the researchers explain.

The so-called mitochondrial pyruvate carrier complex (MPC), which is composed of MPC1 and MPC2, is required for pyruvate import into the mitochondria. Pyruvate is an important intermediate product in aerobic and anaerobic metabolism.

Interestingly, the resulting cardiac insufficiency can be prevented or even corrected by a ketogenic diet rich in fat and low in carbohydrates. Already a 24-hour fasting cure (ketogenic) led to a significant improvement in heart remodeling in mice, the experts add. In addition, a diet with a higher fat content and sufficient carbohydrates to limit ketosis significantly improved heart failure in mice that lacked cardiac MPC expression, the researchers explain.

The study shows that mitochondrial pyruvate utilization plays a critical role in heart function and underscores the potential of nutritional interventions to improve cardiac fat metabolism to prevent or reverse cardiac dysfunction and remodelling in MPC deficiency, McCommis adds in a press release. (as)

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