Why a crash diet may crash your heart's overall function

A new MRI study presented at the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) 2018 conference in Barcelona has found that crash diets can temprarily deteriorate heart function, according to a report by Science Daily.  

"Crash diets, also called meal replacement programs, have become increasingly fashionable in the past few years," said lead author Jennifer Rayner, a clinical research fellow from the Oxford Center for Magnetic Resonance (OCMR) at the University of Oxford. "These diets have a very low-calorie content of 600 to 800 kcal per day and can be effective for losing weight, reducing blood pressure, and reversing diabetes." 

Specifically, the study used MRI to investigate the effects that a very low-calorie diet has on heart function and fat distribution to the abdomen, liver and heart. Researchers analyzed a group of 21 obese individuals who were directed to consume a low-calorie diet for eight weeks, according to study methods. Before and after the eight weeks, an MRI was performed on each participant for a before and after comparison.  

The researchers claimed this is the first study of its kind to focus primarily on the impact crash diets have on heart function. The study was approved by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).