Thursday, October 09, 2014
Medical professionals generally restrict dietary fats in patients with any heart condition fearing aggravation of the condition. However, a team of scientists from the US has found that certain dietary fats can in fact be beneficial in heart failure. As incredulous as it sounds, the scientists showed that oleate, a common dietary fat found in olive oil can help to restore certain aspects of the heart function in heart failure.
Published in the journal Circulation, the scientists examined the response of healthy and failing intact, beating rat hearts perfused with either oleate, found in olive oil or palmitate, found in palm oil, dairy products, animal fats and Western style diets.
Unlike heart attack, heart failure is a chronic disease characterized by hypertrophy of the heart muscle in response to chronic high blood pressure. Due to thickened heart walls, the heart has to work harder to pump blood compromising the blood flow and nutrient supply to organs. Additionally, failing hearts are unable to metabolize or store fats which are their primary source of energy. These changes result in starvation of heart muscle and breakdown of the accumulating fats to release toxic by-products that can further contribute to heart disease.
The scientists found that when diseased hearts were perfused with oleate, an immediate improvement in its contraction and pumping action was observed. It also improved the metabolism of fat and reduced the build up of toxic by-products. Oleate also restored the expression of genes of enzymes that are involved in metabolism of fats.
Speaking about the study, lead scientist E. Douglas Lewandowski said, “These genes are often suppressed in hypertrophic hearts. So the fact that we can restore beneficial gene expression, as well as more balanced fat metabolism, plus reduce toxic fat metabolites, just by supplying hearts with oleate -- a common dietary fat -- is a very exciting finding."
On the other hand, palmitate induced an opposite effect on the diseased hearts. It caused imbalance of fat metabolism and build-up of toxic by-products. The cardiac cells treated with palmitate also struggled to metabolize fats for energy.
Although further clinical studies are required, this study does present a silver lining to heart failure patients. The study provides preliminary evidence that choosing and consuming the right and healthy type of fats can indeed be beneficial for cardiac health even after the onset of disease.
For study details:-Click Here!