Heart failure and a plant-based diet. A case-report and literature review

Kathleen E. Allen, Divya Gumber, Robert J. Ostfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A 54-year-old female with grade 3 obesity body mass index (BMI 45.2 kg/m2) and type II diabetes (hemoglobin A1c 8.1%) presented to her primary care physician in May 2017 with a chief complaint of left lower extremity edema. Work-up revealed heart failure with depressed left ventricular systolic function. Upon diagnosis, she substantially altered her lifestyle, changing her diet from a “healthy western” one to a whole food plant-based one. Guideline directed medical therapy for heart failure was also utilized. Over five and a half months, she lost 22.7 kg and reversed her diabetes without the use of diabetes medications. Her left ventricular systolic function normalized. Although causality cannot be determined, this case highlights the potential role of a plant-based diet in helping to reverse heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. This article will review how a minimally processed whole food plant-based dietary pattern and similar dietary patterns, such as the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension diet, may contribute to the reversal of left ventricular dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - Jun 11 2019


  • Diet
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Plant-based
  • Vegetarian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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