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Hepatol Res. 2003 Aug;26(4):327-329.

Branched-chain amino acids supplements in the late evening decrease the frequency of muscle cramps with advanced hepatic cirrhosis.

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Nanpuh Hospital, Nanpuh, Japan


Eight outpatients with advanced hepatic cirrhosis were tested over 3 months for branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) supplements in the late evening. Serum albumin level (2.8+/-0.3 vs. 3.1+/-0.2 g/dl, P<0.002), serum cholin esterase activity (54+/-13 vs. 67+/-17 IU/l, P<0.02), and plasma Fischer's ratio (1.3+/-0.9 vs. 1.4+/-0.9, P<0.005) increased over the 3 months. The frequency of muscle cramps decreased (7.4+/-2.0 vs. 0.3+/-0.5 times/week, P<0.0001) dramatically. These data suggest that BCAA supplements in the late evening are of benefit to malnourished patients with hepatic cirrhosis. Relief of muscle cramping is an important outcome of BCAA supplements in the late evening.

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