Ketogenic diet: could prevent or even treat heart failure
A diet high in fat or lipids of the "ketogenic" type could completely prevent or even eliminate heart failure, when it is due to a metabolic process. This is what emerges from a new scientific study
In a new study, published October 26 in the journal Nature Metabolism, American researchers indicate that a high-fat diet such as the ketogenic diet can prevent the onset of heart failure, or even make it disappear.
The scientists used here an animal model composed of mice with induced heart failure. The myocardium, the muscle tissue of the heart, requires large amounts of energy from nutrients to contract the heart and pump blood from the heart to other organs. To maintain this high metabolic capacity, the heart must be flexible and adaptable. Reduced flexibility is associated with heart dysfunction in conditions such as diabetes and heart failure.
Here, cardiac dysfunction was induced in mice by decreasing the expression of a complex (called "mitochondrial pyruvate complex" or CMP) responsible for importing pyruvate, the breakdown product of glucose or sugar, into mitochondria, in other words, the power factories of our cells. The expression of this complex is found to be reduced in individuals with heart failure.
When CMP-deficient mice adopted a high-fat, so-called "ketogenic" diet, the process that leads to heart failure could be prevented or even reversed in just three weeks, the researchers say. "A 24-hour fast in mice also provided a significant improvement in cardiac remodeling," said Kyle McCommis, lead study author and investigator of mitochondrial metabolism. Diets high in fat but with enough carbohydrates (such as vegetables) to avoid ketosis (when the body converts fat into ketones that it uses for energy needs) have also shown good results for heart failure, including limiting remodeling and heart dysfunction.
These results "suggest that consuming diets high in fat and carbohydrates may be an effective nutritional therapeutic intervention for treating heart failure associated with CMP deficiency," concluded Kyle McCommis.
Keep in mind that if the ketogenic diet is popular for fast weight loss, it has side effects and can be dangerous to your health. It is best not to go on such a diet without first consulting a doctor, especially if you have a chronic disease (diabetes, heart failure, obesity, etc.).