Branched-chain amino acids improve insulin resistance in patients with hepatitis C virus-related liver disease: report of two cases

Authors

  • Takumi Kawaguchi,

    1. Department of Digestive Disease Information & Research, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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  • Eitaro Taniguchi,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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  • Minoru Itou,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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  • Shuji Sumie,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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  • Tetsuharu Oriishi,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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  • Hisako Matsuoka,

    1. Department of Digestive Disease Information & Research, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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  • Yumiko Nagao,

    1. Department of Digestive Disease Information & Research, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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  • Michio Sata

    1. Department of Digestive Disease Information & Research, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan
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Correspondence
Takumi Kawaguchi, MD, PhD, Department of Digestive Disease Information & Research, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume 830-0011, Japan.
Tel: +81 942 31 7902
Fax: +81 942 31 7747
e-mail: takumi@med.kurume-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes insulin resistance. Because increased insulin resistance is a risk factor for development of hepatocellular carcinoma and reduced long-term survival, insulin resistance is a therapeutic target in patients with HCV infection. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are not only structural constituents of proteins but they are also considered as regulators of insulin signalling. We first describe two cases suggesting that administration of BCAAs improves insulin resistance associated with HCV-related liver disease. Although there were no changes in body weight, plasma glucose concentration and haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) value were decreased. Moreover, BCAAs caused a decrease in both fasting insulin concentration and the value of homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance. Thus, BCAAs are a potential therapeutic agent for improving insulin resistance in patients with HCV-related liver disease.

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