Vitamin E as treatment for chronic hepatitis B: results of a randomized
controlled pilot trial.
Andreone P; Fiorino S; Cursaro C; Gramenzi A; Margotti M; Di Giammarino
L; Biselli M; Miniero R; Gasbarrini G; Bernardi M
Antiviral Res 2001 Feb;49(2):75-81
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Interferon-alpha treatment has been the treatment of choice for chronic
hepatitis with unpredictable results. Recently, Lamivudine has been licensed
for use against HBV infection with good results. Unfortunately, recurrence
of viremia after lamivudine withdrawal is common and prolonged treatment
can induce the emergence of resistant mutant strains. It has been shown
that vitamin E can increase the host immune response, and this may provide
protection against infectious diseases. METHODS: We evaluated
vitamin E supplementation as therapy for chronic hepatitis B in a pilot
study including 32 patients. Patients were randomly allocated to receive
vitamin E at the dose of 300 mg twice daily for 3 months (15 patients)
or no treatment (17 patients). They were seen monthly during the first
3 months and thereafter quarterly for additional 12 months. RESULTS:
The two groups were comparable at enrollment. At the end of the study
period, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) normalization was observed in 7
(47%) patients in vitamin E group and only in 1 (6%) of the controls (P=0.011);
HBV-DNA negativization was observed in 8 (53%) patients in the vitamin
E group as compared to 3 (18%) in the control group, respectively (P=0.039).
A complete response (normal ALT and negative HBV-DNA) was obtained in
7 (47%) patients taking vitamin E and in none of the controls (P=0.0019).
CONCLUSION: Vitamin E supplementation might be effective
in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.