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J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2007 Jun;53(3):213-8.

Zinc supplementation prevents the increase of transaminase in chronic hepatitis C patients during combination therapy with pegylated interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Science, Faculty of Health and Welfare Science, Okayama Prefectural University, Okayama 719-1197, Japan.


We investigated the effects of zinc supplementation on clinical observations in chronic hepatitis C patients receiving pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) alpha-2b plus ribavirin combination therapy. Patients were randomly allocated to receive 150 mg polaprezinc (zinc group, n=11) or no supplement (control group, n=12) daily in addition to PEG-IFN alpha-2b plus ribavirin therapy and 300 mg vitamin E and 600 mg vitamin C supplementation daily for 48 wk. Among the patients who continued treatment, the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level at 12 wk in the zinc group was significantly lower than that in the control group. All patients in the zinc group (9/9) and 67% (8/12) of the control patients at 24 wk, and all patients in the zinc group (7/7) and 60% (6/10) of the control patients at 48 wk showed a decrease in serum ALT levels to within the normal range (7-44 U/L). HCV RNA disappeared in all patients (7/7) in the zinc group and in 8 of 10 control patients at 48 wk. Polaprezinc supplementation decreased plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and prevented the decrease of polyunsaturated fatty acids of erythrocyte membrane phospholipids. No significant differences were observed in the dosage of medicines or other clinical data during the treatment. These observations indicate that polaprezinc supplementation may have induced some antioxidative functions in the liver which resulted in reduced hepatocyte injury during PEG-IFN alpha-2b plus ribavirin therapy.

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