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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 859697, 8 pages
Review Article

Nutrition Therapy for Liver Diseases Based on the Status of Nutritional Intake

1Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Welfare Sciences, Nishikyushu University, Kanzaki 842-8585, Japan
2Clinical Research Center, Kyushu Medical Center, National Hospital Organization, Fukuoka 810-0065, Japan
3Department of Gastroenterology, Kyushu Medical Center, National Hospital Organization, Fukuoka 810-0065, Japan
4Health Care Center and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan
5Department of Medicine and Bioregulatory Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan

Received 3 August 2012; Accepted 20 October 2012

Academic Editor: Alessandro Laviano

Copyright © 2012 Kenichiro Yasutake et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The dietary intake of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is generally characterized by high levels of carbohydrate, fat, and/or cholesterol, and these dietary patterns influence hepatic lipid metabolism in the patients. Therefore, careful investigation of dietary habits could lead to better nutrition therapy in NAFLD patients. The main treatment for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is interferon-based antiviral therapy, which often causes a decrease in appetite and energy intake; hence, nutritional support is also required during therapy to prevent undernourishment, treatment interruption, and a reduction in quality of life. Moreover, addition of some nutrients that act to suppress viral proliferation is recommended. As a substitutive treatment, low-iron diet therapy, which is relatively safe and effective for preventing hepatocellular carcinoma, is also recommended for CHC patients. Some patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) have decreased dietary energy and protein intake, while the number of LC patients with overeating and obesity is increasing, indicating that the nutritional state of LC patients has a broad spectrum. Therefore, nutrition therapy for LC patients should be planned on an assessment of their complications, nutritional state, and dietary intake. Late evening snacks, branched-chain amino acids, zinc, and probiotics are considered for effective nutritional utilization.