International Health News

Supplement helps prevent congestive heart failure

TORONTO, CANADA. A dysfunction of the left ventricle (ejection fraction less than or equal to 40 per cent) often leads to congestive heart failure, which now affects about 1.5 per cent of all Canadians. Research has shown that the heart muscle cells (myocytes) of people with left ventricular dysfunction are depleted of carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and taurine and the extent of depletion correlates directly with the severity of the heart failure. It is also known that patients with left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) have a poorer prognosis of surviving bypass surgery than do patients without this problem.

Cardiologists at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto reasoned that supplementation with carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and taurine might increase ejection fraction and reduce the extent of LVD. They enrolled 41 patients scheduled for bypass surgery in their clinical trial. Half the patients received a placebo for 30 days before their surgery while the other half supplemented with 250 ml of a nutritional drink MyoVive. The MyoVive drink contained 3000 mg of l-carnitine, 150 mg of coenzyme Q10, and 3000 mg of taurine; it also contained other micronutrients including potassium (750 mg), vitamin-C (250 mg), and vitamin-E (538 mg). Biopsy samples of the heart muscle were obtained during the bypass surgery and analyzed for carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and taurine.

The researchers found that the myocyte level of coenzyme Q10, carnitine, and taurine was 144 per cent, 40 per cent, and 66 per cent respectively higher in the supplement group than in the placebo group providing clear proof that the supplements actually found their way to the heart cells. They also noted that while the left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) fell by 7.5 ml in the supplement group it increased by 10.0 ml in the placebo group. A lower LVEDV indicates a better prognosis for the outcome of bypass surgery. The researchers conclude that supplementation with MyoVive may be useful in the management of left ventricular dysfunction and may improve the outcome of bypass surgery.
Jeejeebhoy, Farida, et al. Nutritional supplementation with MyoVive repletes essential cardiac myocyte nutrients and reduces left ventricular size in patients with left ventricular dysfunction. American Heart Journal, Vol. 143, June 2002, pp. 1092-1100

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