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The role of branched-chain amino acids in liver diseases

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 10:37 GMT+7
The role of branched-chain amino acids in liver diseases
Opening speech from Prof. Dr.MD Nguyen Van Kinh, President of VSID

On March 23, the Vietnam Society of Infectious Diseases (VSID) cooperated with VIMEDIMEX Binh Duong Company and EAPharma Company to organize a conference to update the role of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in liver diseases which focus on nutritional supplements to help patients with the diseases improve the quality of their life and prevent hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer.

Many Vietnamese doctors working in the fields of infectious diseases and gastrointestinal & hepatobiliary problems attended this conference in Ho Chi Minh City and saw it as a chance to get updates on new clinical trials in order to apply to their daily practices.

Vietnam is in a group of countries with a relatively high prevalence rate of the hepatitis virus (about 10 – 20 percent of the population infected with hepatitis B and 9.4 percent with hepatitis C).

Thank-you speech from a representative of EAPharma Company
Thank-you speech from a representative of EAPharma Company

In addition, the number of deaths from cirrhosis accounts for three percent of all fatalities from diseases. Among the causes of such cirrhosis are viral hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis.

In liver cirrhosis, ascites is frequently accompanied by liver failure. Due to impaired liver functions, the patients suffer malnutrition and hypoalbuminemia (albumin is a main material for protein synthesis).

The ascites syndrome also leads to abdominal distention and loss of appetite, resulting in weakened quality of life.

Studies have shown that BCAAs are involved in various bioprocesses such as protein synthesis, gene expression, and insulin resistance.

A discussion on many issues of interest to the audience

A discussion on many issues of interest to the audience

Recently, BCAAs have also been reported to suppress hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development and spur immune cells to perform their functions. 

In advanced cirrhotic patients, it has been clarified that serum concentrations of BCAAs decrease, whereas those of aromatic amino acids (AAAs) increase.

These alterations are thought to be the causes of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), sarcopenia and hepatocarcinogenesis, and may be associated with the poor prognosis of patients with these conditions.

The administration of BCAA-rich supplements has shown positive results in patients with cirrhosis and HCC.

Tuoi Tre News

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