Nutrition and cardiomyopathy: Lessons from spontaneous animal models
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- Freeman, L.M. & Rush, J.E. Curr Heart Fail Rep (2007) 4: 84. doi:10.1007/s11897-007-0005-6
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Spontaneously occurring dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats are common diseases and are vastly underutilized as models of human cardiac disease. The goals of nutrition are no longer limited to a low-sodium diet, as research is now showing that nutrients can modulate disease and be an important adjunct to medical therapy. Deficiencies of certain nutrients can contribute to cardiomyopathies, as with taurine, but some nutrients—such as n-3 fatty acids, carnitine, and antioxidants—may have specific pharmacologic benefits. Dogs and cats with spontaneous cardiomyopathies are an exciting and promising model for studying nutritional modulation of cardiac disease.