The perception that soy food products and dietary supplements will have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health has led to a massive consumer market. However, we have previously noted that diet profoundly affects disease progression in a genetic model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). In this model, a soy-based diet negatively impacts cardiac function in male mice. Given the frequent connection between functional changes and transcriptional changes, we investigated the effect of diet (soy- vs. milk-based) on cardiac gene expression and how it is affected by the additional factors of sex and disease. We found that gene expression in the heart is altered more by diet than by sex or an inherited disease. We also found that the healthy male heart may be sensitized to dietary perturbations of gene expression in that it displays a gene expression profile more similar to diseased male and female hearts than to healthy female hearts. These observations may in part account for documented divergence in HCM phenotypes between males and females and between diets
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