January 28, 2011

Vitamins in the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis

Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan 24:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Fiorino S, Conti F, Gramenzi A, Loggi E, Cursaro C, Di Donato R, Micco L, Gitto S, Cuppini A, Bernardi M, Andreone P.

Operative Unit of Internal Medicine, Budrio Hospital, Budrio, BO, Italy.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV)- and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related chronic infections represent a major health problem worldwide. Although the efficacy of HBV and HCV treatment has improved, several important problems remain. Current recommended antiviral treatments are associated with considerable expense, adverse effects and poor efficacy in some patients. Thus, several alternative approaches have been attempted. To review the clinical experiences investigating the use of lipid- and water-soluble vitamins in the treatment of HBV- and HCV-related chronic infections, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for clinical studies on the use of vitamins in the treatment of HBV- and HCV-related hepatitis, alone or in combination with other antiviral options. Different randomised clinical trials and small case series have evaluated the potential virological and/or biochemical effects of several vitamins. The heterogeneous study designs and populations, the small number of patients enrolled, the weakness of endpoints and the different treatment schedules and follow-up periods make the results largely inconclusive. Only well-designed randomised controlled trials with well-selected endpoints will ascertain whether vitamins have any role in chronic viral hepatitis. Until such time, the use of vitamins cannot be recommended as a therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis B or C.

PMID: 21255469 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


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