Kyle McCommis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, recently published a paper in Nature Metabolism showing that a high fat, “ketogenic” diet could prevent or reverse heart failure caused by impaired cardiac flexibility.
Cardiac dysfunction associated with conditions such as diabetes or heart failure may be due to impaired flexibility in heart metabolism. A reduction in fatty acid oxidation combined with a decrease in expression of mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) results in energetic defects and heart failure. Using a mouse model with a genetic deletion of MPC, the researchers found that a high fat/low carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet reversed or prevented heart failure in these mice. Similar results were found after a 24 hour fast or with a high fat, non-ketogenic diet.
These results indicate a important role for MPC deficiency in cardiac dysfunction and dietary manipulations that can prevent or reverse cardiomyopathy in mice and, potentially, in humans. Read the full story in Newslink.
Figure 1. MPCs are downregulated in human heart failure, and deletion of cardiac MPC2 results in TCA cycle dysfunction.