Nutrition and liver diseases.Curr Gastroenterol Rep 1999; 1(4):335-40CG
Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are common in patients with liver diseases. The pathogenesis of protein-energy malnutrition in cirrhosis involves many factors, including poor oral intake, malabsorption, and metabolic abnormalities similar to stress. Encephalopathy may complicate cirrhosis but is usually not caused by diet. Protein restriction is only necessary in rare patients with refractory encephalopathy. The use of branched-chain amino-acid solutions is not supported by the literature. Chronic liver diseases without cirrhosis are not usually associated with protein-energy malnutrition, but vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common, especially with significant cholestasis. Fatty liver may result from excessive triglyceride uptake and production by the liver or by a secretory defect. Therapy for fatty liver depends on its cause. Chronic total parenteral nutrition may induce fatty liver and inflammation especially in patients with short-bowel syndrome. Deficiency of choline in parenteral nutrition has been proposed as the mechanism for liver disease. Acute liver diseases such as fulminant hepatic failure or alcoholic hepatitis are considered hypercatabolic diseases and thus require prompt nutritional intervention with a high-calorie enteral or parenteral formula. In fulminant hepatic failure, low-protein, fluid-restricted formulas are recommended.