Why is this important?
Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) is a debilitating cardiovascular condition that can be managed but not necessarily cured. Recent animal studies have provide important clues for a new therapeutic approach to CHF; caloric restriction via intermittent fasting (IF). In rat models of CHF, 6 weeks of IF on alternate days reduced body weight and successfully reversed cardiovascular damage. Relative risk of death was reduced by 84%. 12 months of IF further reversed symptoms via pro-angiogenic, anti-apoptotic and anti-remodelling effects. A recent study of patients with a subtype of CHF (without reduced ejection fraction) showed caloric restriction was safe and feasible over 20 weeks, with positive effects on symptom severity. Taken together, IF presents as a plausible and promising therapeutic approach for CHF.
How are we doing this study?
We are conducting a pilot study of 10 participants who have CHF to investigate whether IF has health benefits and is feasible for patients with CHF with reduced ejection fraction over 12 weeks.
What are we hoping to find?
We will examine the extent to which participants’ CHF severity, mood, gut health and functioning changes over the course of the 12 week program. If the program produces benefits, we will further evaluate it as part of a larger, randomised controlled trial. IF could be a novel, adjunctive approach to current management of CHF.