Heart failure isn’t the complete failure of the heart, although, as the name suggests, the heart is moving in that direction.
Essential Amino Acids for Heart Failure
There is strong evidence that people with heart failure lose mobility not only because the heart is not working as it should, but also because of a decline in muscle strength and function. Essential amino acid supplements have been shown to help improve muscle strength and function. The heart is a muscle, so it logically follows that an amino acid supplement formulated to promote muscle strength would also support heart muscle as well as skeletal muscle.
We know that essential amino acids may help offset hypercatabolic states like chronic heart failure. We also know that amino acid supplies are limited in heart failure patients, which leads to abnormalities in heart and skeletal muscle metabolism and eventual loss in heart function and quality of life.
Two studies come to mind in support of amino acid supplementation for heart failure.
The first is a pilot study published in the Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2010 designed to see if an essential amino acid supplement improved quality of life, cardiac function, and exercise tolerance in 27 male patients with stable chronic heart failure. Patients took an amino acid supplement made up of the following amino acids (as well as t4 and vitamins B1 and B6) two times a day for three months.
Researchers concluded: After 3 months, essential amino acid supplementation significantly improves cardiac function, quality of life, and exercise tolerance in stable chronic heart failure patients.
A separate study published in 2014 in Clinical Medical Insights: Cardiology investigated the effects of amino acid supplementation for three months in 13 male stable chronic heart failure patients. Researchers measured exercise tolerance with a cardiopulmonary stress test and six-minute walking test and evaluated quality of life with the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire. As with the aforementioned study, supplementation was safe and well tolerated with no adverse side effects. After three months of amino acid supplementation exercise tolerance improved. There was, however, no statistically significant gains in quality of life reported by patients.
As you can see, essential amino acid supplements show promise as a safe and natural way to help counteract and quite possibly prevent heart failure.