Effect of vitamin E on serum aminotransferase and thioredoxin levels in patients with viral hepatitis C

Sabina Mahmood, Gotaro Yamada, Gouichi Niiyama, Miwa Kawanaka, Kazumi Togawa, Miho Sho, Toshio Ito, Takayo Sasagawa, Misako Okita, Hajime Nakamura, Junji Yodoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Oxidative stress induces cellular responses such as cell death, gene activation and cell proliferation, in the liver. Vitamin E (Vit. E) has been found to protect the liver against oxidative stress in animal experiments. Thioredoxin (TRX) is a stress inducible, multifunctional protein, secreted during oxidative stress. This study evaluated effects of Vit. E on serum TRX and amino-transferase levels in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients, partly non-responsive to initial interferon (IFN), with higher than average level of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) after receiving anti-inflammatory drug treatment. Methods: Seventeen HCV patients (male = 3; female = 14) of age 62 ± 7.65 years receiving anti-inflammatory drug therapy, at least 6 months prior to Vit. E administration, were given d-́a-tocopherol 500 mg/day, orally, for a period of 3 months. ALT, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), TRX and Vit. E were measured at 0, 1, 2 and 3 months and 1 month after end of treatment. As controls, the same patients biochemical data, 3 months from the start of therapy were used. Patients were divided into three categories: total patients "T", low ALT group "L" (ALT < 70 IU/l) and high ALT group "H" (ALT > 70 IU/l), respectively. Results: The ALT level was lowered, significantly in group H, in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 1-month post therapy, compared to the initial value. But group L showed little or no change in ALT. Post Vit. E therapy, in groups T and H, the TRX level was elevated but remained below initial levels, whereas in group L, TRX level remained significantly lower than the pretreatment value. Groups T and L, showed significant reduction (p < 0.05) in serum TRX levels in the 2nd and 3rd month. Group H showed a tendency towards TRX reduction, but not significantly. Serum Vit. E levels increased significantly (p < 0.0001) from the 1st to 3rd month in all three T, H and L groups. Conclusion: Oxidative stress induced liver damage is reduced by Vit. E in patients with viral hepatitis C, particularly those with initial ALT levels > 70 IU/l. Vit. E treatment causes reduction of oxidative stress markers as TRX and ALT in sera. Therefore, Vit. E can act as a supportive therapy to combat liver damage caused by oxidative stress, in such patients with continuously high levels of ALT even after anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drug therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-785
Number of pages5
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • ALT
  • Thioredoxin
  • Viral hepatitis C oxidative stress
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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