The liver is the major organ for the metabolism of homocysteine (Hcy) and production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Hcy metabolism and IGF-1 synthesis may be impaired in chronic liver diseases. The study investigated the regulatory effect of a Chinese medicinal suppository, Vitalliver, on Hcy and IGF-1, as well as their relationship in patients with hepatitis B infection. Forty patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection without cirrhosis, 25 males and 15 females, were observed for changes in Hcy and IGF-1 after the administration of Vitalliver (one nightly) for a period of 3 months. Serum levels of Hcy, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were measured at baseline, at 1 month and at 3 months after treatment. Vitalliver reduced Hcy levels significantly (p= 0.001) from 9.7 ± 2.8 to 9.0 ± 2.1 µmol/L after treatment of 3 months. Furthermore, the IGF-1 levels increased significantly (p= 0.001) from 170.2 ± 81.8 to 212.8 ± 80.9 ng/mL at 1 month and 187.5 ± 72.3 ng/mL at 3 months (p= 0.001) after treatment. In conclusion, it is speculated Vitalliver may have a self-regulatory effect on the release of IGF-1 in HBV patients without liver cirrhosis. with week 0, IGF-1 levels (192.5 ± 66.4 ng/ml) were significantly elevated at week 4 (211.7 ± 80.5, p < 0.05) and week 12 (226.6 ± 95.2 ng/ml, p = 0.01). No significant changes were observed for Hcy for the whole cohort from week 0 to week 16. When the cohort was divided into 2 groups using a Hcy level of 13.0 µmol/l as the cut-off, a significant (p < 0.05) difference in IGF-1 was observed between the 2 groups at week 12 only. The mean IGF-1 of 14 subjects with higher Hcy levels was lower than that of the 22 subjects with lower Hcy. We believe that VI-28 may exert a regulatory effect on the relationship between Hcy and IGF-1, at least in subjects with relatively low levels of Hcy. In addition, we also observed an apparent association of hyperhomocysteinemia (Hcy = 13.0 µmol/l) with decreased IGF-1.
- Hepatitis B Infection
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