Metformin in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized, controlled trial.
ABSTRACT The antidiabetic agent metformin is regularly discussed as a promising treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is characterized by insulin resistance. However, the evidence for its beneficial effects is limited, and conflicting reports have been published. The purpose of this study was to conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to test whether metformin improves liver histology in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Forty-eight patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD were randomized to treatment with metformin (n=24) or placebo (n=24) for 6 months. A second liver biopsy was obtained in all subjects who completed the trial (n=44). Data analyses are restricted to this group (per-protocol analyses). The primary outcome was changes in histologically assessed liver steatosis. Secondary outcomes were changes in NAFLD activity (NAS)-score, liver steatosis assessed by computed tomography (CT), liver transaminases, body-weight, metabolic variables and inflammatory markers.
No significant differences between treatment with metformin or placebo were observed for changes in liver steatosis, assessed either histologically or by CT, NAS-score, liver transaminases or on markers of insulin resistance or inflammation. In contrast, beneficial effects of metformin were observed on changes in body-weight (p<0.001), serum levels of cholesterol (p=0.004), LDL-cholesterol (p<0.001), glucose (p=0.032) and on HbA1c (p=0.020).
Treatment with metformin for 6 months was no better than placebo in terms of improvement in liver histology in patients with NAFLD. Nevertheless, the use of metformin could still be beneficial in this group as it is associated with a reduction in serum levels of lipids and glucose. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00303537).
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ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is considered to be a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome, and its incidence is rapidly increasing worldwide. It is currently the most common chronic liver disease. NASH can progress to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, and may result in liver-related death. Currently, the principal treatment for NAFLD/NASH is lifestyle modification by diet and exercise. However, pharmacological therapy is indispensable because obese patients with NAFLD often have difficulty maintaining improved lifestyles. The pathogenesis of NAFLD/NASH has not been completely elucidated. However, insulin resistance, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress are thought to be important in the development and/or progression of the disease. Currently, insulin sensitizers (thiazolidinediones) and antioxidants (vitamin E) seem to be the most promising therapeutic agents for NAFLD/NASH, and lipid-lowering drugs, pentoxifylline, angiotensin receptor blockers, and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids also have promise. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding the most effective and appropriate pharmacotherapy for NAFLD/NASH. Animal experiments suggest that herbal medicines and natural products may be promising therapeutic agents for NAFLD/NASH, but their efficacy and safety are yet to be investigated in human studies. In this paper, we review the existing and potential pharmacological therapies for NAFLD/NASH.04/2015; 21(13):3777-85. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v21.i13.3777
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ABSTRACT: Objective. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with obesity and insulin resistance (IR), key features of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Cytokeratin 18 fragments (M30) have been established as a serum marker for NASH. The insulin sensitizer metformin improves hepatic IR. This study evaluates the influence of MF on serologic NASH (sNASH) in patients with PCOS. Patients and Methods. In 89 patients, metabolic parameters, liver injury indicating fatty liver (LIFL), and M30 were assessed at baseline and after metformin treatment. Patients with initial IR were subdivided into dissolved (PCOS-exIR) and persistent IR (PCOS-PIR) after treatment and compared to an initially insulin sensitive PCOS group (PCOS-C). Results. Improvement of LIFL prevalence could be seen in PCOS-C and PCOS-exIR compared to PCOS-PIR (-19.4, resp., -12.0% versus 7.2%, Chi(2) = 29.5, P < 0.001) without change in sNASH prevalence. In PCOS-PIR, ALT levels increased significantly accompanied by a nominal, nonsignificant M30 increase. Conclusions. Metformin improves LIFL in subgroups of patients with PCOS without influencing sNASH. This could either indicate a missing effect of metformin on NAFLD or slowed disease progression. Further studies are needed to elucidate NAFLD in the context of PCOS and potential therapeutic options.International Journal of Endocrinology 01/2015; 2015:254169. DOI:10.1155/2015/254169 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis has become one of the most common liver-related health problems. This condition has been linked to an unhealthy diet and weight gain, but it can also be observed in nonobese people. The standard of care is represented by the lifestyle intervention. However, because this approach has several limitations, such as a lack of compliance, the use of many drugs has been proposed. The first-line pharmacological choices are vitamin E and pioglitazone, both showing a positive effect on transaminases, fat accumulation, and inflammation. Nevertheless, vitamin E has no proven effect on fibrosis and on long-term morbidity and mortality and pioglitazone has a negative impact on weight. Other drugs have been studied such as metformin, ursodeoxycholic acid, statins, pentoxiphylline, and orlistat with only partially positive results. Among the emerging treatments, telmisartan is particularly interesting as it seems to have an impact on insulin resistance, liver steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. However, the pathogenesis of steatohepatitis is highly complex and is determined by different parallel hits; indeed, the association of different drugs that act on various levels has been suggested. In conclusion, lifestyle intervention should be optimised and the associations of different drugs should be tested in large studies with long-term outcomes.Gastroenterology Research and Practice 03/2015; 2015. DOI:10.1155/2015/732870 · 1.50 Impact Factor