Nutrition in heart failure: an update

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Purpose of reviewChronic heart failure (CHF) is increasingly recognized as a multisystem disease with important comorbidities such as anemia, insulin resistance, autonomic dysbalance, or cardiac cachexia.Recent findingsApart from these perturbations, increasing evidence points to alterations in intestinal morphology, permeability, and absorption function in patients with CHF. This review provides an overview of the sonographic, histological, and functional abnormalities of different gastrointestinal regions. This intestinal dysfunction and disturbed intestinal barrier may lead to both the chronic inflammatory state and catabolic/anabolic imbalance as seen in cardiac cachexia, as a terminal stage of CHF, which carries a particularly poor prognosis. This review highlights the current knowledge of nutritional abnormalities that may occur in CHF, including fat, carbohydrates, proteins, water, and micronutrients. The regulation of feeding is discussed, as are nutritional strategies with potentially anti-inflammatory effects in the treatment of CHF.SummaryThe gut and its role for inflammation and dietary interventions in heart failure patients are a crucial target of further heart failure research.

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