Dietary intervention could benefit heart health in those with muscular dystrophy. That's according to new research published in Experimental Physiology. If these findings are confirmed in humans, it could mean that off the shelf supplements could improve health and life expectancy.
Scientists from Iowa State University, Auburn University and the University of Montana in the United States found that supplementing the mice's food with quercetin (a flavonol found in many fruits, vegetables, leaves, and grains) improved biomedical outcomes, providing an inflammatory and antioxidant effect. To the groups' surprise, they also found that the quercetin-fed mice were more active than the control group
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a severe type of muscular dystrophy that causes a decline in cardiac health resulting in premature death, at an average age of 26 years. Duchenne's predominantly affects males.
The researchers used several mouse models for muscular dystrophy, carrying out experiments in parallel. By doing this they were able to replicate muscular dystrophy in humans as closely as possible.
Dr John C. Quindry, the corresponding author, said: "A currently available dietary intervention could benefit those with muscular dystrophy. We gave the mice a quercetin dose that was proportional to those that could be given to humans. This allows the scientists to make the best possible connections between animal and human research findings."
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Christopher Ballmann et al, Long term dietary quercetin enrichment as a cardioprotective countermeasure in mdx mice, Experimental Physiology (2017). DOI: 10.1113/EP086091