New Study Shows That Vitamin E Can Treat Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) In HIV Patients
) is a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
) and is characterized by liver inflammation and cell damage. It is a potentially dangerous condition that can progress to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Unfortunately, HIV
patients tend to have a high prevalence of the disease.
A new study by McGill University, Canada has found that Vitamin E
can be effective in treating the condition in HIV
The study's lead author Dr. Giada Sebastiani, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, McGill University and bioresearcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre told Thailand Medical
News ,"Vitamin E
has been shown to improve fatty liver
in the general population. Here we provide evidence for its beneficial effect and safety in people living with HIV
, who have a higher prevalence of fatty liver
The research findings have been published in the study appears in the February issue of the journal AIDS.
currently affects up to 48% of Canadians living with HIV
and 25% of the general population, while NASH
affects about one third of patients with NAFLD
. Global figures are almost similar.
A few theories exist to explain the high prevalence of fatty liver
Dr Sebastiani added, "It is possibly due to HIV
-related inflammation, the antiretroviral drugs that they have to take lifelong, and to very frequent metabolic problems, such as diabetes and high lipids. Unfortunately, there is no approved therapy for fatty liver
in people living with HIV
For the research, 27 patients with HIV
were given vitamin E
in an easily-tolerated dose of two pills per day.
Dr Sebastiani further added, "We found that vitamin E
improved both liver transaminases (the main blood tests for liver function) and liver fat measured by a non-invasive ultrasonographic test. These improvements were even more marked than those reported in the HIV
The vitamin E
significantly reduced inflammation and fat in the HIV
-positive patients in a very sizeable way.
The author noted that because the study did not have the benefit of a control group, and the study group was small and had a short follow-up (24 weeks), it's considered a pilot project.
Dr Sebastiani added, "We would be interested in conducting a larger randomized controlled trial, with a longer follow-up.”
Reference: Vitamin E is an effective treatment for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in HIV mono-infected patients," by G. Sebastiani, P. Ghali, M. Klein, et al, was published February 1, 2020 ,journal AIDS.