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).
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.
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.