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Lipids. 2008 Apr;43(4):325-33. doi: 10.1007/s11745-008-3157-6. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Eicosapentaenoic acid supplementation for chronic hepatitis C patients during combination therapy of pegylated interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin.

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Department of Natural Science and Ecological Awareness, Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences, Nara Women's University, Kitauoyanishimachi, Nara 630-8506, Japan.


Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (1.8 g/day) was administered to 12 chronic hepatitis C patients receiving combination therapy of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) alpha-2b and ribavirin for 48 weeks (EPA group). Twelve patients were not administered EPA (control group). All patients also received vitamin E and C (300, 600 mg/day, respectively) during the therapy. Serum alanine aminotransferase improved to a normal level in 8 of 12 patients from the EPA group and 6 of 12 patients from the control group after 12 weeks. Lymphocyte counts decreased significantly after 8 weeks in the control group, but not the EPA group. T-helper (Th) 1 decreased after 4 weeks in the control group, but not in the EPA group (two-way ANOVA; P < 0.05). Th1/Th2 ratios were elevated in 9 of 12 patients in the EPA group, and 3 out of 12 in the control group (P < 0.05) after 8 weeks. After 12 weeks, the arachidonic acid/EPA molar ratio of erythrocyte membrane phospholipid correlated negatively with the leukocyte count (n = 24, r = -0.439, P < 0.05) and the neutrophil count (n = 24, r = -0.671, P < 0.02). The hemoglobin level improved after 48 weeks compared with 24 weeks in only the EPA group. These findings suggest that EPA supplementation may be useful in therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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