Background: An adequate energy-protein intake (EPI) when combined with amino acid supplementation may have a positive impact on nutritional and metabolic status in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Methods and results: Thirty eight stable CHF patients (27 males, 73.5 ± 4 years; BMI 22.5 ± 1.4 kg/m2), with severe depletion of muscle mass and were randomised to oral supplements of essential amino acids 8 g/day (EAA group; n = 21) or no supplements (controls; n = 17). All patients had adequate EPI (energy ≥ 30 kcal/kg; proteins > 1.1 g/kg). At baseline and 2-months after randomisation, the patients underwent metabolic (plasma lactate, pyruvate concentration; serum insulin level; estimate of insulin resistance by HOMA index), nutritional (measure of nitrogen balance), and functional (exercise test, walking test) evaluations. Body weight increased by > 1 kg in 80% of supplemented patients (mean 2.96 kg) and in 30% of controls (mean 2.3 kg) (interaction <0.05). Changes in arm muscle area, nitrogen balance, and HOMA index were similar between the two treatment groups. Plasma lactate and pyruvate levels increased in controls (p <0.01 for both) but decreased in the supplemented group (p <0.01 and 0.02 respectively). EAA supplemented patients but not controls improved both exercise output and peak oxygen consumption and walking test. Conclusions: Adequate EPI when combined with essential amino acid supplementation may improve nutritional and metabolic status in most muscle-depleted CHF patients.
- Chronic heart failure
- Energy-protein intake
- Essential amino acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine