Wednesday December 12, 2018

New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

The team found that the faulty titin gene may also play a role in the condition

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Hangovers might last longer than you think
Hangovers might last longer than you think. Pixabay
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Even moderate level of alcohol consumption may worsen the condition of heart failure patients with a faulty versions of a gene called titin, new research has found.

Titin is crucial for maintaining the elasticity of the heart muscle. But faulty version of the gene may cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)– a type of heart failure where the left ventricle becomes weak causing lessening the ability to pump blood.

“Our research strongly suggests alcohol and genetics are interacting — and genetic predisposition and alcohol consumption can act together to lead to heart failure,” said study co-author James Ware from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London.

For the first part of the study, the team analysed 141 patients with a type of heart failure called alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) — a type of heart failure due to long term alcohol abuse which may trigger because of drinking more than 70 units a week (roughly seven bottles of wine) for five years or more.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The team found that the faulty titin gene may also play a role in the condition.

The results, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that 13.5 per cent of ACM patients carried the mutation — much higher than the proportion of people who carry them in the general population.

Ware explained that the condition is not simply the result of alcohol poisoning, but arises from a genetic predisposition and thus can put other family members at risk as well.

He added that relatives of patients with ACM should receive assessment and heart scans to see if they unknowingly carry the faulty gene.

Also Read: Alcoholic Beverages Aren’t That Good For You As You May Have Thought

In the second part, the team analysed 716 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition that causes the heart muscle to become stretched and thin.

The team found that in patients whose DCM was caused by the faulty titin gene, even moderately increased alcohol intake (defined as drinking above the weekly recommended limit of 14 units), affected the heart’s pumping power.

“Alcohol and the heart have a complicated relationship. While moderate levels may have benefits for heart health, too much can cause serious cardiac problems. This research suggests that in people with titin-related heart failure, alcohol may worsen the condition,” explained study co-author, Paul Barton from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial. (IANS)

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Here’s How Turmeric Helps Heart Failure Patients

The results showed that the expression of Nrf2 increased and levels of antioxidant enzymes improved in the animals with heart failure that were given curcumin

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How turmeric helps heart failure patients? Find it out here. Pixabay

Curcumin — the active compound in turmeric — may repair exercise intolerance faced by patients with heart failure, suggests a new research.

People with heart failure have a reduced function of the left ventricle — the chamber of the heart that pumps blood out to the rest of the body — called reduced ejection fraction. This is linked to decreased ability to exercise.

The findings showed that curcumin treatment improved muscle function, exercise capacity in mice with heart failure and healthy controls.

Curcumin, a chemical that comes from the turmeric plant, has been used as a traditional Asian medicine for centuries, primarily to treat gastrointestinal ailments and skin wounds.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska in the US, theorised that a reduction in the normal signalling of a protein Nrf2 may play a role in the impaired expression of antioxidant enzymes.

 

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Turmeric (Wikimedia)

The antioxidant enzymes both prevent and repair damage from oxidative stress as well as improve exercise performance.

For the study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the team gave one group of mice with heart failure daily doses of curcumin — which is known to promote activation of Nrf2 — for 12 weeks, while another group did not receive treatment.

The results showed that the expression of Nrf2 increased and levels of antioxidant enzymes improved in the animals with heart failure that were given curcumin.

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In addition, both groups that received curcumin — even the animals without heart failure — had improved exercise capacity when compared with the untreated groups, suggesting the effects of curcumin on skeletal muscle is not exclusive to heart failure.

“These data suggest that activation of Nrf2 in skeletal muscle may represent a novel therapeutic strategy to improve … quality of life” in people with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, the researchers noted. (IANS)