Effects of lactitol on intestinal microflora and plasma endotoxin in patients with chronic viral hepatitis

J Infect. 2007 Jan;54(1):98-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2005.11.013. Epub 2006 Oct 16.


Objectives: To investigate the effects of lactitol on intestinal flora and the levels of plasma endotoxin in patients with chronic viral hepatitis.

Methods: Sixty patients with chronic viral hepatitis and gut-derived endotoxemia were randomly divided into two groups: lactitol group (n=30) and control group (n=30). Patients in the control group received standard medical treatment for 3 weeks, while patients in the lactitol group received lactitol orally in addition to the standard medical treatment. Fecal flora and plasma endotoxin were measured before and after the treatment.

Results: In the lactitol group, the numbers of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus per gram of wet feces were significantly increased (p<0.01) and Clostridium perfringens count was decreased markedly (p<0.001). The levels of plasma endotoxin decreased after the treatment from 72.89 ng/L to 33.33 ng/L in the lactitol group and from 66.00 ng/L to 51.07 ng/L in the control group, but the plasma endotoxin levels in the lactitol group decreased far more than in the control group (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Lactitol can decrease the levels of plasma endotoxin more effectively than standard medical treatment in patients with chronic viral hepatitis through improving intestinal microflora.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Endotoxemia / drug therapy*
  • Endotoxins / blood*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / complications*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / complications*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sugar Alcohols / administration & dosage
  • Sugar Alcohols / therapeutic use*


  • Endotoxins
  • Sugar Alcohols
  • lactitol