Effectiveness of phosphatidylcholine as adjunctive therapy in improving liver function tests in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic comorbidities: real-life observational study from Russia

BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2020 Mar 26;7(1):e000368. doi: 10.1136/bmjgast-2019-000368. eCollection 2020.


Objective: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of abnormal results of liver function tests. Earlier research showed that polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC) has hepatoprotective effects and thus can be used for the treatment of NAFLD and the prevention of its progression. Accordingly, the aim of this observational study was to evaluate if PPC administered as adjunctive therapy in routine clinical practice can effectively improve liver function tests of NAFLD in Russian patients with associated metabolic comorbidities.

Design: 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 were prescribed 1.8 g/day of PPC as an adjunctive treatment to standard care, were enrolled during 2015-2016. Laboratory data were collected at baseline and 12 and 24 weeks of the study, and included liver function tests (aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)), fasting plasma glucose, and lipid profile.

Results: Overall, 2263 patients (79.6%) had at least two metabolic comorbidities associated with NAFLD, and overweight/obesity was the most common comorbidity reported in 2298 (80.8%) patients. At 24 weeks, there was a significant decrease in liver enzyme levels (all p<0.001 compared with baseline). Across the four comorbidity subgroups, there was a mean drop of ALT levels ranging from 19.7 to 22.0 U/L, AST from 16.9 to 18.4 U/L, and GGT from 17.2 to 18.7 U/L. Similar findings were reported in subgroups with either one, two, three, or four comorbidities, with a significant decrease in liver enzyme levels ranging from 18.4 to 22.4 U/L for ALT, 14.8 to 18.7 U/L for AST, and 15.5 to 19.5 U/L for GGT.

Conclusions: Adjuvant treatment with PPC resulted in consistent improvements in liver enzymes in patients with newly diagnosed NAFLD and associated metabolic comorbidities.

Trial registration number: NCT00063622.

Keywords: fatty liver; liver function test; nutritional supplementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00063622