Nutrition in heart failure: An update

Anja Sandek, Wolfram Doehner, Stefan D. Anker, Stephan Von Haehling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Chronic heart failure (CHF) is increasingly recognized as a multisystem disease with important comorbidities such as anemia, insulin resistance, autonomic dysbalance, or cardiac cachexia. RECENT FINDINGS: Apart 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. SUMMARY: The gut and its role for inflammation and dietary interventions in heart failure patients are a crucial target of further heart failure research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-391
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Cachexia
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Intestine
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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