Supplementing with certain nutraceuticals could be beneficial for patients with heart failure, according to a new review published in Current Pharmaceutical Design.

Ischemic heart disease, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and diabetes have been identified as the most important risk factors in the lifetime risk of developing heart failure. Previous studies have indicated that some nutraceuticals have demonstrated positive clinical results in preventing heart failure as well as treating the early stages of heart failure, either alone or as adjunct to pharmacological therapy. 

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In order to better understand the impact of nutraceuticals in these patients, study authors from the University of Bologna performed a review on available clinical data on the effect of phytochemicals on heart failure prevention and/or treatment. They identified trials in PubMed from January 1980 to April 2016. 

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Findings showed that the intake of nutraceuticals such as hawthorn, coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, D-ribose, carnosine, vitamin D, some probiotics, omega-3 PUFAs, and beet nitrates was associated with improvements in functional parameters such as ejection fraction, stroke volume, and cardiac output in heart failure patients with little side effects. Meta-analyses further validated these findings and added that the benefits of nutraceuticals seemed to be greater in earlier stage heart failure. The primary mechanisms appear to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-ischemic, and antiaggregant effects. 

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