A Review of Plant-based Diets to Prevent and Treat Heart Failure.

Author(s): 

Kerley CP

Year Published: 

2018

Journal: 

Card Fail Rev.

Category: 

Study Design: 

Link to Full Article Free Online: 

Abstract: 

Evidence supporting the role of nutrition in heart failure (HF) incidence and severity is growing. A comprehensive search of online databases was conducted using relevant keywords to identify human studies including diet and HF. Several plant-based diets have consistently been associated with decreased HF incidence and severity, notably the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Mediterranean diets. Several other plant-based dietary patterns, including low-fat diets and the rice diet, also show promise. Higher dietary quality, as assessed using different scores, seems to provide protective qualities. Fruit, vegetables, legumes and wholegrains appear to be beneficial, whereas red/processed meats, eggs and refined carbohydrates appear harmful. Some evidence suggests detrimental effects of dairy products and poultry, but more research is needed. There is observational and interventional evidence that a plant-based diet high in antioxidants, micronutrients, nitrate and fibre but low in saturated/trans fats may decrease the incidence and severity of HF. Potential mechanisms for this include decreased oxidative stress, homocysteine and inflammation levels, as well as higher antioxidant defence and nitric oxide bioavailability with gut microbiome modulation. Well-designed randomised, controlled nutrition intervention trials specific to HF are urgently required.