Watch what you eat!
Cardiac transplant recipients may be able to reduce their risk of chronic organ rejection by modifying their diets to keep homocysteine levels low. Experimental studies on animals have indicated that chronic rejection of transplanted heart grafts occur more quickly in animals fed a diet high in the amino acid methionine and low on folate, which resulted in blood levels of homocysteine that were 20 times the normal. In the animals with hyperhomocysteinemia, cardiac grafts survived an average of 59 days, compared to 107 days in animals fed a normal diet. Time to onset of rejection of their transplants also was accelerated in animals on a high homocysteine diet - 42 days in the test animals versus 66 days in the controls. By the end of the study, 100% of the test animals experienced chronic rejection compared to 56% of controls. According to Susan, a transplant surgeon, in Oregon, U.S.A., “ This animal study shows that we can cause high levels of homocysteine and demonstrate a cause and effect relationship with vascular disease in cardiac grafts.” in humans high levels of homocysteine have been linked to atherosclerosis and as a result to diseases such as stroke, peripheral vascular disease and myocardial infarction. High homocysteine levels also occur in heart transplant patients who develop the vasculopathy of chronic rejection. Supplementation with vitamins B12 or B6 and Folate (Cofactors involved in the breakdown of homocysteine ) could potentially decrease the development of the vasculopathy of chronic rejection in heart transplant patients by diminishing atherosclerosis and organ disease. Whether these dietary supplements actually improve the survival of transplanted grafts in humans has not get been proven. However there are no potential adverse side effects of taking these vitamins and folate.
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: cardiac transplant, experimental studies, myocardial infarction