Navigation Links
Damaged hearts pump better when fueled with fats

Contrary to what we've been told, eliminating or severely limiting fats from the diet may not be beneficial to cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure, a study at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reports.

Results from biological model studies conducted by assistant professor of physiology and biophysics Margaret Chandler, PhD, and other researchers, demonstrate that a high-fat diet improved overall mechanical function, in other words, the heart's ability to pump, and was accompanied by cardiac insulin resistance.

"Does that mean I can go out and eat my Big Mac after I have a heart attack," Dr. Chandler says "No, but treatments that act to provide sufficient energy to the heart and allow the heart to utilize or to maintain its normal metabolic profile may actually be advantageous."

The research, published in American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, suggests that for a damaged heart, a balanced diet that includes mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and which replaces simple sugars (sucrose and fructose) with complex carbohydrates, may be beneficial.

In a healthy person, the heart uses both fats and carbohydrates to obtain the energy it needs to continue pumping blood 24/7. Ideally, fats are utilized because they yield more energy. However, if a person develops heart failure (or suffers from ischemia a lack of blood supply), the heart seems to prefer using glucose for fuel, because glucose requires less oxygen to produce energy.

While heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, more people are surviving heart attacks that ever before. Survivors though pay a price for this improved survival, living with a damaged heart that usually progresses to heart failure. And unfortunately, medications and procedures have yet to "cure" heart failure, or halt the deterioration of heart function.

Upon initiation of these dietary intervention studies, researchers previously thought a high-fat diet fed to animal models that have suffered a heart attack, would overload their tissues with fat, which in turn would have a toxic effect on their hearts. Surprisingly, the heart's pump function improved on the high-fat diet.

Through further testing, the researchers found that animal models suffering from heart failure and receiving a low fat diet were able to produce insulin and take up glucose from the blood, just as healthy hearts do.

However, the biological models with heart failure that were fed high-fat diets showed signs of insulin resistance, exhibited by a decreased amount of glucose taken up by the heart, as might be expected in a diabetic patient.

One of the main implications of these findings is that contrary to previously held beliefs, a state of insulin-resistance might actually be beneficial to a failing heart.

The hypothesis, according to Dr. Chandler, is that because the heart is being provided with excess amounts of fats, it is forced to utilize its preferred energy source. After suffering an injury that leads to failure, the heart cannot do this on its own, so the researchers have to manipulate its metabolism to use the energy source that maximizes or maintain its function as near to "normal" as possible.

"We want to provide an environment for the heart which allows it to be as effective and efficient a pump as possible, regardless of the damage it has undergone," Dr. Chandler says.


Contact: Jessica Studeny
Case Western Reserve University

Related biology news :

1. Mammals can be stimulated to regrow damaged inner retina nerve cells
2. Stem cells replace stroke-damaged tissue in rats
3. Activated stem cells in damaged lungs could be first step toward cancer
4. Mouse brain rewires its neural circuits to recuperate from damaged neural function after stroke
5. Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth
6. Mobilizing the repair squad: Critical protein helps mend damaged DNA
7. Cells can read damaged DNA without missing a beat
8. U of I researchers say foliar fungicides may not be the answer for hail-damaged corn
9. UDs Zhuang wins NSF Early Career Award for research on how cells bypass damaged DNA
10. Endometrial stem cells could repair brain cells damaged by Parkinsons disease
11. SRNL works to decrease hazards from mold in water damaged homes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... Connecticut , October 29, 2015 ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ... smart wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace ... be featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... October 27, 2015 Munich, ... Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile ... Glasses , so that they can be quantitatively ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. ... data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, 2015 ... an innovator in modern authentication and a founding member ... launch of its latest version of the Nok Nok™ ... to use standards-based authentication that supports existing and emerging ... Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , Nov. ... BCLI ), a leading developer of adult stem cell ... Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd., has been awarded an additional grant ... of the Chief Scientist (OCS). This grant, the second this ... 2015 activities to approximately $1.8 million (approximately NIS7 million).  ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Nov. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/--  Mallinckrodt plc ... announced today that it has closed the sale of ... to Guerbet (GBT- NYSE Euronext) in a transaction valued ... four manufacturing facilities and a total of approximately 1,000 ... the St. Louis area. This ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... November 27, 2015 ... popularity of companion diagnostics is one of ... market with pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic manufacturers ... tests. . --> ... report on global cancer biomarkers market spread ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... device company specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it ... as part of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme ... a large-scale clinical trial in breast cancer. , ... , --> --> The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: