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BMC Gastroenterol. 2017 Aug 8;17(1):96. doi: 10.1186/s12876-017-0652-3.

Efficacy of glutathione for the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: an open-label, single-arm, multicenter, pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.
2
Division of Hepatology and Pancreatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Aichi Medical University, Aichi, Japan.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.
4
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.
5
Center for Digestive and Liver Diseases, Nara City Hospital, Nara, Japan.
6
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kochi Medical School, Kochi, Japan.
7
Liver Center, Saga University Hospital, Saga, Japan.
8
Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prefectural University, Kyoto, Japan.
9
Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
10
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan. nakajima-tky@umin.ac.jp.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Glutathione plays crucial roles in the detoxification and antioxidant systems of cells and has been used to treat acute poisoning and chronic liver diseases by intravenous injection. This is a first study examining the therapeutic effects of oral administration of glutathione in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

METHODS:

The study was an open label, single arm, multicenter, pilot trial. Thirty-four NAFLD patients diagnosed using ultrasonography were prospectively evaluated. All patients first underwent intervention to improve their lifestyle habits (diet and exercise) for 3 months, followed by treatment with glutathione (300 mg/day) for 4 months. We evaluated their clinical parameters before and after glutathione treatment. We also quantified liver fat and fibrosis using vibration-controlled transient elastography. The primary outcome of the study was the change in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels.

RESULTS:

Twenty-nine patients finished the protocol. ALT levels significantly decreased following treatment with glutathione for 4 months. In addition, triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids, and ferritin levels also decreased with glutathione treatment. Following dichotomization of ALT responders based on a median 12.9% decrease from baseline, we found that ALT responders were younger in age and did not have severe diabetes compared with ALT non-responders. The controlled attenuation parameter also decreased in ALT responders.

CONCLUSIONS:

This pilot study demonstrates the potential therapeutic effects of oral administration of glutathione in practical dose for patients with NAFLD. Large-scale clinical trials are needed to verify its efficacy.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

UMIN000011118 (date of registration: July 4, 2013).

KEYWORDS:

Controlled attenuation parameter; Glutathione; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

PMID:
28789631
PMCID:
PMC5549431
DOI:
10.1186/s12876-017-0652-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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