Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Nursing

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Debra Moser

Abstract

Lycopene is a antioxidant found in natural and processed foods. The connection between antioxidants and heart disease has been explored in several observational studies1-4, yet very few investigators have examined the impact of dietary antioxidants in patient with advanced heart disease such as heart failure (HF). A novel strategy for preventing or delaying the complications of HF related to inflammation and oxidative stress may be to increase dietary lycopene.

The purpose of this dissertation was to test the impact of dietary intervention consisting of lycopene (V8® juice) on biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in patients with HF; Prior to testing the dietary intervention, preliminary work was conducted: 1) a review of the literature on dietary lycopene interventions in patients with HF and 2) a longitudinal study to examine whether lycopene and sodium intake interact to produce an effect on event-free survival in patients with HF.

Forty patients with HF were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups (intervention and usual care). The intervention group received 24 mg of lycopene by drinking 11.5 ounces of V8®100% vegetable juice daily for 30 days. The usual care group continued their usual diet. Serum levels of uric acid and C-reactive protein were obtained to determine the impact of the lycopene dietary intervention. Patients in the intervention group had higher levels of plasma lycopene after one month drinking V8® juice. We also found a significant decrease in plasma CRP levels among women in the intervention group, while there was no change in CRP levels among men in the intervention group.

This dissertation has provided insight about lycopene as a potential nutritional intervention for patients with HF, aimed at reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. This dietary intervention is practical, easy to replicate, cost effective and is safe for patients with HF. Additional research is needed to determine the effects of long-term outcomes of dietary antioxidants in patients with HF.

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