Fish oil and other nutritional adjuvants for treatment of congestive heart failureMcCarty MF. Nutrition 21, San Diego, CA 92109, USA.
Published clinical research, as well as various theoretical considerations, suggest that supplemental intakes of the 'metavitamins' taurine, coenzyme Q10, and L-carnitine, as well as of the minerals magnesium, potassium, and chromium, may be of therapeutic benefit in congestive heart failure. High intakes of fish oil may likewise be beneficial in this syndrome. Fish oil may decrease cardiac afterload by an antivasopressor action and by reducing blood viscosity, may reduce arrhythmic risk despite supporting the heart's beta-adrenergic responsiveness, may decrease fibrotic cardiac remodeling by impeding the action of angiotensin II and, in patients with coronary disease, may reduce the risk of atherothrombotic ischemic complications. Since the measures recommended here are nutritional and carry little if any toxic risk, there is no reason why their joint application should not be studied as a comprehensive nutritional therapy for congestive heart failure.
Prevention of cardiac arrhythmia by dietary (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids and their mechanism of actionNair SS, Leitch JW, Falconer J, Garg ML. Discipline of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.
The role of marine fish oil (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in the prevention of fatal ventricular arrhythmia has been established in experimental animals. Prevention of arrhythmias arising at the onset of ischemia and reperfusion is important because if untreated, they result in sudden cardiac death. Animals supplemented with fish oils in their diet developed little or no ventricular fibrillation after ischemia was induced. Similar effects have also been observed in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes. Several mechanisms have been proposed and studied to explain the antiarrhythmic effects of fish oil polyunsaturated fatty acids, but to date, no definite mechanism has been validated. The sequence of action of these mechanisms and whether more than one mechanism is involved is also not clear. Some of the mechanisms suggested to explain the antiarrhythmic action of fish oils include the incorporation and modification of cell membrane structure by (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids, their direct effect on calcium channels and cardiomyocytes and their role in eicosanoid metabolism. Other mechanisms that are currently being investigated include the role of (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell signalling mediated through phosphoinositides and their effect on various enzymes and receptors. This article reviews these mechanisms and the antiarrhythmic studies using (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Nutritional alterations and the effect of fish oil supplementation in dogs with heart failureFreeman LM, Rush JE, Kehayias JJ, Ross JN Jr, Meydani SN, Brown DJ, Dolnikowski GG, Marmor BN, White ME, Dinarello CA, Roubenoff R. Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Alterations in body composition and nutritional status are common in humans with heart failure and are related, in part, to increases in cytokine concentrations. Cytokines have not been studied previously in dogs with naturally occurring cardiac disease nor has fish oil administration been used in this population to decrease cytokine production. The purposes of this study were to characterize nutritional and cytokine alterations in dogs with heart failure and to test the ability of fish oil to reduce cytokines and improve clinical outcome. Body composition, insulinlike growth factor-1, fatty acids, and cytokines were measured in 28 dogs with heart failure and in 5 healthy controls. Dogs with heart failure then were randomized to receive either fish oil or placebo for 8 weeks. All parameters were measured again at the end of the study period. At baseline, 54% of dogs with heart failure were cachectic and the severity of cachexia correlated with circulating tumor necrosis factor-alpha concentrations (P = .05). Cytokine concentrations at baseline, however, were not significantly increased in dogs with heart failure compared to controls. Baseline plasma arachidonic acid (P = .02), eicosapentaenoic acid (P = .03), and docosahexaenoic acid (P = .004) concentrations were lower in dogs with heart failure than in controls. Fish oil supplementation decreased interleukin-1 beta (IL-1) concentrations (P = .02) and improved cachexia (P = .01) compared to the placebo group. The mean caloric intake of the heart failure dogs as a group was below the maintenance energy requirement (P < .001), but no difference was found in food intake between the fish oil and placebo groups. Insulinlike growth factor-1 concentrations (P = .01) and reductions in circulating IL-1 concentrations over the study period (P = .02) correlated with survival. These data demonstrate that canine heart failure is associated with cachexia, alterations in fatty acids, and reduced caloric intake. Fish oil supplementation decreased IL-1 concentrations and improved cachexia. In addition, reductions in IL-1 predicted survival, suggesting that anticytokine strategies may benefit patients with heart failure.
Effects of dietary fish oil on ventricular premature complexesSellmayer A, Witzgall H, Lorenz RL, Weber PC. Institute for Prophylaxis and Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Munich, Germany.
For ethical and practical reasons, in this study the antiarrhythmic potential of fish oil was evaluated in patients free from complex ventricular arrhythmias and severe heart failure. Although subjects without overt structural heart disease had ventricular arrhythmias that were not associated with an increased risk for sudden cardiac or coronary death, recent data suggest that frequent VPCs in patients similar to our study population may reflect subclinical cardiac disease amenable to the multiple beneficial actions of n-3 fatty acids. The potential and safety of fish oil as a treatment for more complex cardiac arrhythmias or arrhythmias in higher risk patients with more severe heart disease deserve further study.
Cardiac rehabilitation, exercise training, and preventive cardiology research at Ochsner Heart and Vascular InstituteLavie CJ, Milani RV, Ventura HO, Messerli FH, Murgo JP. Department of Cardiology, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, Louisiana 70121, USA.
We review data from our institution demonstrating the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training on coronary risk factors, exercise capacity, behavioral characteristics, and quality of life in various subgroups of patients. In addition, we discuss our research in several other areas of preventive cardiology, including lipid disorders, hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, fish oils, and antioxidants. We believe that we are now in a very exciting era in which a multifactorial approach to the primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease is needed in order to further reduce morbidity and mortality rates.
The protective effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on the activity of the isolated rat heart during myocardial ischemia-reperfusionKvochina LI, Tumanovs'ka LV, Marchenko HI, Moibenko OO, Butovych IA, Kharchenko OV. A. A. Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev.
It was produced plant-derived product, an omega-3 acid-enriched substrate (64%). In our study we tested the influence of this preparation, which is supposed a membrane-modifying agent, on the processes of damage to the isolated heart under conditions of ischemia-reperfusion. Animals took this substrate as nutrient addition to usually everyday diet. We assumed disorders in cardiodynamics and contractile functions of the myocardium (we measured a perfusion pressure in coronary vessel, left ventricular pressure and dp/dt) and in structure of cardiomyocytes. All mentioned parameters was much better after ischemia-reperfusion in hearts from animals which took an omega-3 acid-enriched substrate in course of 4 week before experiments than in hearts from control animals. Conclusions. Omega-3 polyunsaturated acids exert protective effect on functioning and structure of the isolated rat heart during ischemia-reperfusion.
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