Good muscle function is essential for survival. Without our muscles we couldn’t eat, talk, walk or run – we couldn’t do ANYTHING! How well our muscles function in general has a lot to do with our heart, as this review published in the International Heart Journal discusses.
Heart failure is a condition where the heart can’t pump enough blood to properly meet the body’s needs. People with heart failure tend to experience muscle wasting and a reduced capacity for exercise. Unfortunately, lowered exercise capacity increases the severity of heart failure leading to a worse prognosis.
How our muscles perform have a lot to do with mitochondria. Mitochondria are found in abundance in skeletal muscle, and play an important role in energy production during exercise. To put it simply – your endurance, or your ability to exercise for long periods of time – comes down to the quality of your mitochondria.
Poorly functioning mitochondria cannot sustain skeletal muscle energy requirements. This leads to muscle wasting and poor endurance. The authors of this article believe that treatments (other than exercise) designed to correct skeletal muscle abnormalities such as mitochondrial dysfunction, could help improve exercise tolerance in people with conditions such as heart failure. Paving the way for a much better prognosis.