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Vitamin E may help liver disease patients

April 28, 2010

A daily supplement of vitamin E may improve liver health of people with non-alcoholic liver disease, says a new study.

In the randomized controlled trial, 247 adults with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and without diabetes were randomly assigned to receive daily vitamin E (800 IU) or an insulin sensitizing drug (30 mg pioglitazone) or placebo for 96 weeks (1). According to the results 43 percent of the participants receiving vitamin E showed significant improvement of the liver, compared with only 19 percent of those receiving a placebo. The difference in the rate of improvement with the drug as compared with placebo was not significant.

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) affects about 4 percent of all American adults and is characterized by excessive fat that causes inflammation and damage in the liver. The disease is linked to weight gain and obesity, and can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.