Vitamin E to Treat Fatty Liver Disease in ChildrenA new study that was undertaken by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows a particular form of vitamin E enhanced the most relentless form of fatty liver disease in a large number of children. This comes after a prior study established that vitamin E is effectual in some adults with the liver disease.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease among youth in the US. It ranges in severity from fat in the liver not from injury (steatosis) to fat/inflammation, and liver damage (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH). Fatty liver elevates a youth’s risk of suffering from heart disease and liver cirrhosis. Now, the only way to differentiate NASH from other variations of fatty liver illness is by completing a biopsy on the liver. Additionally, weight loss could quash the disease in some youths, alas other than food intake guidance, there are no precise treatments. Surplus fat in the liver is alleged to cause damage by mounting amounts of oxidants (compounds that harm cells). Vitamin E contains high levels of anti-oxidants.

The majority of children with fatty liver disease are obese and not reactive to insulin. Boys and Hispanic youths are more affected than girls, African-Americans and Caucasians.

By completing biopsies, researchers in this study determined that after 96 weeks of treatment, 58% of the youths on vitamin E no longer had NASH. 41% of the children on Metformin (a diabetes drug) no longer had NASH. 28% on placebo no longer had NASH. It is stated that Vitamin E was superior to placebo because it notably condensed swelling and liver cell demise.

What we can take from this study is that these results imply that vitamin E improves or even diminishes NASH in at least half of these children in the study. We also have seen this in adults. While the results are hopeful, patients using vitamin E for NASH should obviously still be under the care of a physician.

The trial examined whether vitamin E or Metformin could improve fatty liver disease. The ending point to measure accomplishment was either a continuous reduction in the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or progress in the liver by doing the biopsies.

173 children aged 8-17 participated in the study. The majority were Caucasian and Hispanic.