Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Title: Survival and cardioprotective benefits of long-term blueberry enriched diet in dilated cardiomyopathy following myocardial infarction in rats
Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 2009
Publication Date: November 18, 2009
Citation: Ismayil, A., Spangler, E., Shukitt Hale, B., Joseph, J.A., Ingram, D., Talan, M. 2009. Survival and cardioprotective benefits of long-term blueberry enriched diet in dilated cardiomyopathy following myocardial infarction in rats. PLoS One. 4(11):e7975.
Interpretive Summary: Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a serious problem in the US and other developed countries and treatment costs are very expensive. This factor, along with factors involving personal suffering and disability has necessitated a great deal of research to find methods to prevent or reduce the negative effects of CHF. In a previous study we reported that a blueberry (BB) enriched diet may have beneficial effects in a rodent model that produces a myocardial infarction (“heart attack”). In that study an artery that provides blood supply to heart muscle was blocked experimentally in animals that had received 8 weeks of a control diet or a diet supplemented with 2% blueberry extract. The results indicated that the blueberry supplemented group showed reduced damage (cell death and inflammation) to the heart muscle and reduced mortality as compared to the unsupplemented group. In the present study we wanted to determine if a BB supplemented diet would reduce the course of CHF (damage to the heart muscle and mortality) during the first year after the induction of “heart attack” in this rodent model. Two weeks after coronary artery blocking to induce a heart attack (myocardial infarction, MI), rats were divided into two groups of similar average MI size and then12-mo dietary regimens were initiated as follows: free feeding regular diet (control, n=27) or 2% blueberry supplement (BB, n=27). These dietary groups were compared to each other and to sham group (SH). Mortality over the 12 mo was reduced by 22% in BB supplemented group as compared with control (p<0.01). In the course of developing CHF, BB supplementation had no effect on the body weight, heart rate or blood pressure. Results showed significant attenuation of several parameters of heart muscle function in the BB-supplemented group as compared to controls. In fact, BB supplementation seemed to arrest the MI expansion. This is an exciting finding and is the first experimental evidence that a BB-enriched diet may have positive effects on the course of CHF and suggests that clinical evaluations of BB supplementation in a clinical setting should be undertaken.
Background: Despite remarkable progress in treatment of chronic heart failure (CHF) over the last two decades, mortality, personal suffering and cost remain staggering. And effective interventions are still a challenge. Previously we reported that a blueberry-enriched diet (BD) attenuated necroapoptosis and inflammation in periinfarct area in a rat model of myocardial infarction (MI).
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that BD will attenuate the course of CHF, including mortality and cardiac remodeling during the first year after induction of MI in rats.
Method and results: Two weeks after coronary artery ligation, rats were divided into two groups of similar average MI size, measured by echocardiography, and then12-mo dietary regimens were initiated as follows: ad libitum regular diet (control, CD, n=27) and isocaloric food with 2% blueberry supplement (BD, n=27) also available ad libitum. These dietary groups were compared to each other and to sham group (SH). Mortality over the 12 mo was reduced by 22% in BD compared with CD (p<0.01). In the course of developing CHF, BD had no effect on the body weight, heart rate or blood pressure. Bi-monthly Echo revealed significant attenuation of the LV chamber remodeling, LV posterior wall thinning, and MI expansion in BD compared with CD. In fact, BD arrested the MI expansion.
Conclusion: This is the first experimental evidence that a blueberry-enriched diet has positive effects on the course of CHF and thus warrants consideration for clinical evaluation.