Heart’s main energy source (not the only, but the predominant one) are free fatty acids. In healthy individuals this is how it is supposed to be.
However, these normal processes change, if you have a condition like congestive heart failure, when the capability of the heart to pump the blood efficiently enough diminishes. One of the interesting observations is heart’s metabolic changes in this kind of conditions.
Research shows that in many cardiac events, the heart loses the ability to use free fatty acids on enzyme level. What’s even more surprising: if the heart in a situation like this has the option to choose from available glucose or from available ketones, it will choose the latter. And the surprises don’t end there: if there is a cardiac event, there will be an increase of enzymes for the heart to use ketones.
The question remains: could this lead to new therapies or even prevention strategies in terms of cardio-vascular health (Aubert et al., 2016).
AUBERT, G. et al. 2016. The Failing Heart Relies on Ketone Bodies as a Fuel. Circulation, vol. 133, no. 8, pp. 698.
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