Heart failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome that represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Western countries. Several nutraceuticals have shown interesting clinical results in HF prevention as well as in the treatment of the early stages of the disease, alone or in combination with pharmacological therapy. The aim of the present expert opinion position paper is to summarise the available clinical evidence on the role of phytochemicals in HF prevention and/or treatment that might be considered in those patients not treated optimally as well as in those with low therapy adherence. The level of evidence and the strength of recommendation of particular HF treatment options were weighed up and graded according to predefined scales. A systematic search strategy was developed to identify trials in PubMed (January 1970 to June 2019). The terms 'nutraceuticals', 'dietary supplements', 'herbal drug' and 'heart failure' or 'left verntricular dysfunction' were used in the literature search. The experts discussed and agreed on the recommendation levels. Available clinical trials reported that the intake of some nutraceuticals (hawthorn, coenzyme Q10, l-carnitine, d-ribose, carnosine, vitamin D, probiotics, n-3 PUFA and beet nitrates) might be associated with improvements in self-perceived quality of life and/or functional parameters such as left ventricular ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac output in HF patients, with minimal or no side effects. Those benefits tended to be greater in earlier HF stages. Available clinical evidence supports the usefulness of supplementation with some nutraceuticals to improve HF management in addition to evidence-based pharmacological therapy.
Keywords: Coenzyme Q10; Heart failure; Herbal drugs; Nutraceuticals; Nutritional supplements.
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