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Dig Dis Sci. 1982 Dec;27(12):1109-16.

Treatment of chronic portal--systemic encephalopathy with vegetable and animal protein diets. A controlled crossover study.


A controlled crossover clinical comparison of 40-g/day and 80-g/day vegetable protein diets vs a 40-g/day meat protein diet plus neomycin-milk of magnesia (as control therapy) was performed on 10 cirrhotic patients with mild chronic portal-systemic encephalopathy. The 40-g vegetable protein diet had a high fiber volume and contained low methionine and low aromatic amino acids. The 80-g vegetable protein diet was rich in branched-chain amino acids and fiber, with a similar content of sulfur-containing amino acids as compared to the 40-g meat protein diet. Serial semiquantitative assessments were done, including mental state, asterixis, number connection tests, electroencephalograms and blood ammonia levels. No patient developed deep coma while ingesting either vegetable protein diet or neomycin-milk of magnesia plus 40-g meat protein diet. A significant improvement in the number connection test times was observed during the 40-g vegetable protein diet (P less than 0.05) and during the 80-g vegetable protein diet (P less than 0.05) as compared to their previous 40-g meat protein--neomycin periods. In addition, during the period of 80-g vegetable protein diet, the patients showed a significant improvement in their electroencephalograms (P less than 0.05). The frequency of bowel movements significantly increased (P less than 0.05) during the 80-g vegetable protein diet period. During the 40-g vegetable protein diet, two cirrhotic--diabetic patients experienced hypoglycemia. Three patients complained of the voluminous 80-g vegetable protein diet. Patients with mild portal--systemic encephalopathy may be adequately controlled with vegetable protein diets as a single therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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