A new study suggests that a protein-packed diet can boost the survival rates of heart failure patients. The findings were unveiled at the World Congress on Heart Failure in Vienna, Austria.
Researchers found that one in 10 heart failure patients can have real benefits from upping the protein intake in their diets. The study involved 2,281 people diagnosed with heart failure in a dozen European countries.
It is unclear how large the protein intake should be for optimal benefits.
We observed that in patients with heart failure, a higher protein intake is independently associated with better survival,
noted the lead author of the study Dr. Koen Streng, who works at the University Medical Centre Groningen.
Heart Failure Patients’ Survival Rates Can Go Up If They Consume a Lot of Protein
Dr. Streng acknowledged that the research has not focused on the causes of the association between higher survival rates in heart failure patients and the amount of dietary protein. Study authors speculate that protein can help build muscle mass, and since the heart is a muscle too, it can benefit from higher protein intakes.
Heart failure happens when the heart fails to pump the blood as it should be. As a result, the body becomes oxygen and nutrient deprived. The median age of the heart failure patients that were involved in the study was 68. Most of the patients were males.
The dietary protein intake was assessed with help from urine samples and participants were tracked for 21 months. After the follow-up period, 31% of participants in the low-protein group (40 grams or less every day) died. In the group that consumed 70 grams of protein or more every day, just 18% of participants died.
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