Aim: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of Chlorella in 18 patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1.
Methods: Eighteen adults with chronic infection by HCV genotype 1 received daily oral supplementation of Chlorella for 12 wk. Changes in the RNA levels of HCV, as well as those of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were evaluated following this treatment period. Paired t tests were conducted to compare the means of the different variables at the beginning and end of the study. Side effects and quality of life aspects were also compared between weeks 0 and 12 of the study period.
Results: A majority 84.61% of the patients had a significant decrease in their ALT levels from week 0 to week 12. Evaluation of side effects showed that Chlorella was well tolerated. Quality of life assessment showed that 76.9 of the participants reported an improvement in their energy levels and 46.1% reported an improvement in their perception of general health. Although 69.23% also showed a decrease in their AST levels, this was not statistically significant. Most patients that exhibited an improvement in their ALT and AST levels also showed a tendency toward a decreased HCV viral load. The HCV RNA levels showed a decrease in 69.23% of the patients, which along with changes in AST/ALT ratios from week 0 to week 12, these results were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Chlorella supplementation was well tolerated in patients with chronic HCV and associated with a significant decrease in ALT liver enzyme levels.
Keywords: Aspartate and alanine aminotransferase; Chlorella; Hepatitis C virus; Interferon; Ratio.