TRIAL DESIGN: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in children. Several studies suggest that the improvement of oxidative stress is suggested as a possible therapeutic strategy for paediatric NASH. We performed a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to test the potential efficacy, assessed by improvement of oxidative-stress parameters and liver ultrasound, and tolerability of a mixture of vitamin E and Hydroxytyrosol (HXT) in adolescents with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
METHODS: 440 consecutive patients were screened, 80 of these with biopsy-proven NAFLD were enrolled. Forty patients received an oral dose of HXT and vitamin E and 40 children received the capsules of placebo, for 4 months.
RESULTS: Seventy patients completed the study. Patients in the treatment arm showed a decrease of insulin-resistance, triglyceride levels, oxidative-stress parameters and steatosis grade. Noteworthy, the steatosis improvement correlates with the levels of advanced glycation end products and carbonylated proteins.
CONCLUSION: The HXT and vitamin E treatment improved the main oxidative-stress parameters, insulin resistance and steatosis in children with NAFLD. The use of two natural molecules that may have antioxidant effects seems a promising strategy that could be easily diet integrated to improve NAFLD related liver damage in children.