Although well documented drug therapies are available for the management of ventricular hypertrophy (VH) and heart failure (HF), most patients nonetheless experience a downhill course, and further therapeutic measures are needed. Nutraceutical, dietary, and lifestyle measures may have particular merit in this regard, as they are currently available, relatively safe and inexpensive, and can lend themselves to primary prevention as well. A consideration of the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the VH/HF syndrome suggests that measures which control oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, that support effective nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide bioactivity, that prevent a reduction in cardiomyocyte pH, and that boost the production of protective hormones, such as fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), while suppressing fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) and marinobufagenin, may have utility for preventing and controlling this syndrome. Agents considered in this essay include phycocyanobilin, N-acetylcysteine, lipoic acid, ferulic acid, zinc, selenium, ubiquinol, astaxanthin, melatonin, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, berberine, citrulline, high-dose folate, cocoa flavanols, hawthorn extract, dietary nitrate, high-dose biotin, soy isoflavones, taurine, carnitine, magnesium orotate, EPA-rich fish oil, glycine, and copper. The potential advantages of whole-food plant-based diets, moderation in salt intake, avoidance of phosphate additives, and regular exercise training and sauna sessions are also discussed. There should be considerable scope for the development of functional foods and supplements which make it more convenient and affordable for patients to consume complementary combinations of the agents discussed here. Research Strategy: Key word searching of PubMed was employed to locate the research papers whose findings are cited in this essay.
Keywords: ER stress; FGF21; FGF23; congestive heart failure; hydrogen sulfide; marinobufagenin; nitric oxide; nutraceuticals; plant-based diets; ventricular hypertrophy.