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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2009 Nov;45(3):292-303. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.08-246. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Zinc supplementation improves the outcome of chronic hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1, oyaguchi kamimachi, Itabashiku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan.


We treated patients with C-viral chronic hepatitis (CH) and liver cirrhosis (LC) with polaprezinc and determined prospectively the effect on long-term outcome. 62 patients were enrolled. Of these, 32 were administered 1.0 g polaprezinc and the remainder were not administered polaprezinc. We measured the serum zinc concentrations using conventional atomic absorption spectrometry and conducted a prospective study to determine the long-term outcome of the polaprezinc therapy. Changes of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels in the polaprezinc administration group were significantly lower than those of the untreated group. The decrease in platelet count was clearly less than that of the untreated group. The factors that inhibited increases in serum zinc concentrations following administration of polaprezinc included low serum zinc concentration states. Furthermore, the reductions of AST and ALT levels in the low zinc group were significantly greater than those of the high zinc group. When the patients who were administered polaprezinc were divided into two groups whose zinc concentrations increased (zinc responders) or remained stable or decreased (zinc non-responders), the zinc responders had a clearly lower cumulative incidence of HCC than the zinc non-responders. We conclude zinc supplementation improved the long-term outcome in C-viral CH and LC patients.


chronic hepatitis C; hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); liver cirrhosis; polaprezinc; zinc supplementation

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