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Nutrition. 2004 Apr;20(4):368-71.

Efficacy of long-term dietary restriction of total calories, fat, iron, and protein in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Mie University School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan.



A diet restrictive in total calories, fat, iron, and protein intake reduces serum alanine aminotransferase levels in patients with long-term hepatitis C virus infection. However, whether long-term dietary therapy causes adverse effects such as malnutrition and anemia due to a shortage of energy intake is not clear. We evaluated the balance of energy intake and changes in physical and hematologic indices of nutrition after a long-term dietary therapy.


Twenty-two patients with long-term hepatitis C virus infection that did not respond to or who were able or unwilling to take interferon therapy were enrolled in this study. Our prescriptions included 7 mg/d or less of iron, 30 kcal. kg(-1). d(-1) of energy, 1.1 to 1.2 g. kg(-1). d(-1) of protein, and a fat energy fraction of 20%. Patients were followed for 24 mo.


Mean body fat percentage was 24.6% at entry and was significantly reduced after the diet prescription. Mean serum ferritin decreased significantly from 376 ng/mL at entry to 141 ng/mL after 24 mo. Mean serum alanine aminotransferase levels decreased significantly from 66 to 49 IU/L. Mean levels of hemoglobin, serum albumin, and cholinesterase did not change significantly during the follow-up period.


These results suggest that restriction of energy, fat, iron, and protein intakes is safely tolerated, so its long-term use should be recommended to patients with long-term infection with hepatitis C virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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