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J Med Virol. 2008 Nov;80(11):1900-6. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21292.

Treatment with silybin-vitamin E-phospholipid complex in patients with hepatitis C infection.

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Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine and Science of Aging, G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of silybin-phospholipids and vitamin E complex (SPV complex), by determining cytokine patterns and various markers of liver disease. Forty Caucasian patients with chronic HCV infection were recruited and divided into two groups: 30 were treated with SPV complex for 3 months, while the other 10 did not receive any treatment. Ten other subjects without HCV infection but with staeatosic diagnosis were recruited and treated with SPV complex. Biochemical and hepatic principal parameters were investigated at 0 (T0) and 3 months (T3). The group of HCV patients treated showed an improvement trend of hepatic indecises and viral load, and had a significant and persistent reduction of ALT (P = 0.02) and AST serum level (P = 0.01). In this group cytokines showed a statistically significant increase of IL-2 (P = 0.03) and IL-6 were significantly reduced (P = 0.02) at T0 and T3. After the treatment the group of hepatic steatosics showed a significant decrease in ALT (P = 0.02), AST (0.008), gammaGT (0.004) alkaline phosphatase (0.05), total cholesterol (P = 0.03), fasting glucose (P = 0.008), insulinemia (0.0006), HOMA value (0.002) and C-reactive protein (CRP; 0.04). There was a significant reduction of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 (P = 0.02, 0.05 and 0.04, respectively). The data suggest that the SPV complex exerts hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects. This new compound may therefore be useful in clinical practice in patients with chronic hepatitis C who cannot undergo conventional antiviral therapy.

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