US Pharm. 2019;44(2):HS-6-HS-8.

Research from the University Minnesota Medical School (UMMS) published recently in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight reveals the cause of diastolic heart failure and how it can be treated.

In the article, “Magnesium supplementation improves diabetic mitochondrial and cardiac diastolic function,” author Samuel Dudley Jr., MD, PhD, academic chief of cardiology at UMMS and his fellow researchers showed that magnesium could be employed to treat diastolic heart failure.

“We’ve found that cardiac mitochondrial oxidative stress can cause diastolic dysfunction. Since magnesium is an essential element for mitochondrial function, we decided to try the supplement as a treatment,” said Dudley. “It eliminated the poor heart relaxation that causes diastolic heart failure.”

Obesity and diabetes are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The researchers discovered the magnesium supplement also improved the mitochondrial function and blood glucose in the subjects.

Patients with diastolic heart failure have high morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. Patients with this condition have similar annual mortality to those with systolic heart failure. Until now, there were no known specific treatments for this type of heart failure.

“This is an exciting step forward in the cardiovascular field,” stated Dudley. The next step is human trials, and he says this work could also open doors for answers for a related condition—atrial fibrillation.