The role of micronutrients in heart failure

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Jun;112(6):870-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.01.016.


Heart failure is a common condition in the Western world, particularly among elderly persons and with an ever-aging population, the incidence is expected to increase. Diet in the setting of heart failure is important--patients with this condition are advised to consume a low-salt diet and monitor their weight closely. Nutritional status of patients with heart failure also is important--those with poor nutritional status tend to have a poor long-term prognosis. A growing body of evidence suggests an association between heart failure and micronutrient status. Reversible heart failure has been described as a consequence of severe thiamine and selenium deficiency. However, contemporary studies suggest that a more subtle relationship may exist between micronutrients and heart failure. This article reviews the existing literature linking heart failure and micronutrients, examining studies that investigated micronutrient intake, micronutrient status, and the effect of micronutrient supplementation in patients with heart failure, and focusing particularly on vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine, other B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and copper.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Heart Failure / diet therapy*
  • Heart Failure / metabolism*
  • Homocysteine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Micronutrients / physiology*
  • Micronutrients / therapeutic use*
  • Minerals / metabolism
  • Minerals / therapeutic use
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Prognosis
  • Vitamins / physiology
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Micronutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Homocysteine