Vitamin E helps cut fatty liver disease in kids
Washington: A new study has suggested that a specific form of vitamin E improved the most severe form of fatty liver disease in some children.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease among children. NAFLD ranges in severity from steatosis (fat in the liver without injury) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH (fat, inflammation, and liver damage).
The only way to distinguish NASH from other forms of fatty liver disease is with a liver biopsy.
Using liver biopsies, researchers found that after 96 weeks of treatment, 58 percent of the children on vitamin E no longer had NASH, compared to 41 percent of the children on metformin (a diabetes drug), and 28 percent on placebo. Vitamin E was better than placebo because it significantly reduced enlargement and death of liver cells.
"These results suggest that vitamin E improves or resolves NASH in at least half of children, which we previously showed to be true in adults," said Stephen P. James, director of the digestive diseases and nutrition division at NIH``s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
While the results are encouraging, patients using vitamin E for NASH should be under a doctor’s care.
The study was recently published in the journal of the American Medical Association.