Objective: To assess the effect of antioxidant supplementation on hepatitis C viral load, transaminases and oxidative status.
Methods: We performed a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial to assess the effect of antioxidant supplementation on serum alanine aminotransferase, plasma hepatitis C viral load as well as oxidative and antioxidant markers in patients with hepatitis C virus infection. The participants received a daily dose of ascorbic acid (500 mg), D-alpha-tocopherol (945 IU) and selenium (200 microg) or placebo tablets for 6 months.
Results: Twenty-three patients were included. During supplementation, the antioxidant group had significantly higher levels of plasma ascorbic acid and alpha-tocopherol than the placebo group and the activity of erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase had significantly increased from baseline to month 6. No differences were observed in serum alanine aminotransferase and log10-transformed plasma hepatitis C virus-RNA between the groups or changes from the baseline at any time. No consistent differences between groups or changes from the baseline with respect to erythrocyte activities of antioxidative enzymes (glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase and catalase) or plasma levels of oxidative markers (malondialdehyde and 2-amino-adipic semialdehyde) were found.
Conclusion: Supplementation with vitamin C, E and selenium increased the antioxidant status, but had no effects on alanine aminotransferase, viral load or oxidative markers.