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Hepatol Res. 2000 Nov;18(3):184-189.

Improvement of fuel metabolism by nocturnal energy supplementation in patients with liver cirrhosis.

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  • 11st Department of Internal Medicine, Gifu University School of Medicine, 40 Tsukasa-machi, 500-8705, Gifu, Japan


Aims: patients with liver cirrhosis exhibit abnormal fuel metabolism, including increased fat and decreased glucose oxidation. Such altered energy metabolism is similar to that observed after starvation and could lead to malnutrition. We therefore studied whether nocturnal energy supplementation might improve the fuel metabolism in cirrhotic patients. Methods: 12 cirrhotic patients and 14 healthy controls participated in this study. Subjects in the two groups ate isonitrogenous (1.2 g/kg/day) and isocaloric (35 kcal/day) diets for 1 week before and during the study. On day 1 of the study, indirect calorimetry was carried out in the morning after an overnight fast. The next morning, the same measurement was performed after the patients took a liquid nutrient (Ensure Liquid(R), 250 kcal) at 23:00 on day 1. Respiratory quotient (RQ), resting energy expenditure (REE), and substrate oxidation rates of glucose (% CHO), fat (% FAT) and protein were estimated from measured VO(2), VCO(2) and urinary nitrogen. Results: Significant decreases in RQ, and % CHO and a significant increase in % FAT were observed at baseline in cirrhotic patients as compared with controls. After the nocturnal energy supplementation, RQ, % CHO and % FAT in cirrhotic patients were significantly recovered, ending at levels close to normal. Conclusions: These results suggest that nocturnal energy supplementation could be useful to correct abnormal fuel metabolism and to prevent malnutrition in cirrhosis.

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