Oral supplementation with branched-chain amino acids improves survival rate of rats with carbon tetrachloride-induced liver cirrhosis.
Dig Dis Sci. 1998 Jul;43(7):1572-9. PMID: 9690397
We investigated whether supplementation with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) improves survival of rats with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) -induced cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis was induced in 40 male Sprague-Dawley rats by administering CCl4 for 15 weeks. Twenty rats each were then assigned to the control and BCAA group and fed a casein diet or a BCAA-supplemented casein diet, respectively, for an additional 17 weeks with repeated injections of CCl4. No significant difference occurred in either mean energy or nitrogen intake or in body or liver weight between the two groups. BCAA-supplementation significantly preserved plasma albumin concentrations (P<0.05) and inhibited significantly the occurrence of ascites and hyperammonemia (P<0.05). The survival rate was significantly higher in the BCAA group (P=0.03), while no significant difference was found in liver histology between the groups. These results suggest that BCAA improved survival of rats with CCl4-induced cirrhosis by preventing hypoalbuminemia and hyperammonemia without directly reducing hepatic necrosis and fibrosis.