Orange juice as dietary source of antioxidants for patients with hepatitis C under antiviral therapy
Background: HCV causes alterations in liver metabolism, resulting in biochemical and nutritional disorders. Supplementation with antioxidants has been suggested to minimize the diseases effects.
Objective: This study assessed whether orange juice, a source of citrus flavonoids and vitamin C, may contribute to the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Design: Anthropometric, hemodynamic, dietary, and biochemical parameters, CRP and liver enzymes were measured in 43 adult patients of both genders who were diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C and were under antiviral therapy. Twenty-three patients were supplemented with orange juice for eight consecutive weeks, while 20 were enrolled as control group.
Results: Following regular use of orange juice, no alterations were found in body mass, fat, and waist circumference. The serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, CRP and parameters of oxidative stress decreased in the orange juice group. Furthermore, the levels of the liver enzyme AST decreased in those who had high levels before the intervention.
Conclusion: The orange juice was a convenient food in the diet of patients due to the increase in antioxidant capacity and decreased inflammation and cholesterol in blood serum, in addition to maintaining body mass, which protect against the harmful effects caused by the chronic hepatitis C virus.