Can high-fat diet cut heart attack damage?

Eating high-fat diet may protect the heart in the short run only, says a study with a warning that it is not a license to eat a lot of cheeseburgers and ice cream.

It is well known that over the long run, a high-fat diet increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

“Learning about how fat, in the short run, protects against heart attacks could help in the development of better therapies,” said Walter Keith Jones from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in the US.

Jones said that in the short-term, a high-fat diet protects the heart through a mechanism called autophagy, which works somewhat like a garbage truck.

The study may provide new insight into the “obesity paradox”: Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. But once a heart attack or heart failure does occur, moderately obese patients tend to live longer.

Proteins damaged by the heart attack are removed from heart cells as if they were garbage, thus increasing the chances the cells will survive.

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