Effectiveness of phosphatidylcholine in alleviating steatosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiometabolic comorbidities (MANPOWER study)

BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2020 Jan 13;7(1):e000341. doi: 10.1136/bmjgast-2019-000341. eCollection 2020.


Objective: The concept of using naturally occurring compounds such as polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) as an adjunctive therapy to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alleviate or reverse hepatic steatosis appears a very attractive option for liver protection. We aim to evaluate if PPC adjunctive therapy can effectively improve the ultrasonographic features of NAFLD in routine clinical practice in Russian patients with cardiometabolic comorbidities.

Design: This 24-week, observational, prospective study was carried out in 174 medical sites across 6 federal districts of Russia. A total of 2843 adult patients with newly diagnosed NAFLD, who had a least one of four comorbidities, namely overweight/obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolaemia, and who received PPC as an adjunctive treatment to standard care, were enrolled. The assessment of liver ultrasonography was qualitative.

Results: Overall, 2263 (79.6%) patients had at least two metabolic comorbidities associated with NAFLD, and overweight/obesity was the most common comorbidity reported in 2298 (80.8%) patients. Almost all study participants (2837/2843; 99.8%) were prescribed 1.8 g of PPC administered three times daily. At baseline, the most frequently identified abnormalities on ultrasound were liver hyperechogenicity (84.0% of patients) and heterogeneous liver structure (62.9%). At 24 weeks, a significant (p<0.05) improvement in liver echogenicity and in liver structure was observed in 1932/2827 (68.3%) patients (95% CI 66.6% to 70.1%) and in 1207/2827 (42.7%) patients (95% CI 40.9% to 44.5%), respectively. The analysis of ultrasonographic signs by number of comorbidities revealed similar findings-liver echogenicity improved in 67.2%-69.3% and liver structure in 35.6%-45.3% of patients depending on the number of comorbidities.

Conclusion: This study showed that PPC adjunctive therapy may be useful in improving the ultrasonographic features of NAFLD in patients with associated cardiometabolic comorbidities. It also supports evidence regarding the role of PPC in the complex management of NAFLD.

Keywords: fatty liver; nutritional supplementation; ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Phosphatidylcholines / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Workforce


  • Phosphatidylcholines