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.