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[Voice of Hope, April 19, 2023] (Editor: Guo Qiang) How should people with liver cirrhosis eat to protect their liver? Qian Zhenghong, physician from Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary Department of Keelung Chang Gung Hospital, said that we must first know which trace nutrition elements are deficient, and then start from the deficient part. Vitamin D, vitamin A, and zinc are the three most deficient trace elements, of which nearly 95% of patients with liver cirrhosis are deficient in vitamin D, and 2/3 of the patients are very deficient (<10ng/mL).
Cirrhosis of the liver (Image: Wikimedia)
Liver cirrhosis (Wikimedia)
What micronutrients are lacking in people with liver cirrhosis
Liberty Times quoted Qian Zhenghong’s Facebook page “Qian Zhenghong Gastrointestinal Hepatobiliary Physician” as stating that a Spanish study pointed out that patients with liver cirrhosis tend to be deficient of the following trace nutritional elements:
●Vitamin D (deficiency in 94.5% of patients)
●Vitamin A (deficiency in 93.5% of patients)
●Zinc (deficiency in 85.6% of patients)
●Vitamin B6 (deficiency in 60.8% of patients)
●Vitamin C (deficiency in 50.5% of patients)
●Iron (deficiency in 38.4% of patients)
●Phosphorus (deficiency in 34.4% of patients)
●Copper (deficiency in 16.8% of patients)
●Vitamin E (deficiency in 15.4% of patients)
●Magnesium (deficiency in 12.8% of patients)
●Folic acid (deficiency in 5.2% of patients)
●Calcium (deficiency in 4.6% of patients)
●Vitamin B12 (deficiency in 0% of patients)
Vitamin B12 (Internet picture)
Zhenghong pointed out that people with liver cirrhosis not only do not lack vitamin B12, but also have higher levels of vitamin B12 than normal people, and the more severe the liver cirrhosis, the higher the average value! There are two reasons: First, about 60% of vitamin B12 in the whole body is stored in the liver, and about 30% is stored in the muscle. When the liver cells are damaged, vitamin B12 will be released; secondly, when the liver cells are damaged, vitamin B12 will be released. The liver cells reduce the uptake of vitamin B12 from the blood, so the more severe the liver cirrhosis, the higher the vitamin B12 in the blood.
Zhenghong said that long-term drinking will affect the body’s absorption of vitamin B12. In this case, insufficient vitamin B12 will cause anemia, and vitamin B12 should be supplemented to improve anemia. But when long-term drinking causes liver damage, vitamin B12 will increase instead, which means that the liver function is worse.
Zhenghong pointed out that vitamin D deficiency is very common in patients with liver cirrhosis. Some scholars suggest that bone density should be tested to assess the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. However, vitamin D testing is currently not covered by health insurance and needs to be paid by oneself.
Zhenghong reminded that although the lack of magnesium ions is not a high proportion, once the deficiency will accelerate the occurrence of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, some studies have pointed out that supplementing magnesium ions can slow down the deterioration of the liver and reduce mortality; low copper ions will also accelerate liver fibrosis. Deficiency of zinc ions can cause skin diseases, difficult wound healing, hair loss, easy cold, abnormal taste and smell, inability to concentrate, chronic diarrhea and macular degeneration.
Vitamin D (pixabay)
Zhenghong pointed out that the detection of trace elements is not yet a routine and necessary inspection, and the health insurance may not pay, and there is no conclusion on how to supplement it. However, the literature recommends that patients with liver cirrhosis can detect “vitamin D, vitamin A, zinc, etc. every 6 months.” and Magnesium” to understand the lack of trace elements in the body.
Qian Zhenghong emphasized that the supplementation of trace elements must be based on scientific evidence. Food supplements are better than medicine supplements. What trace elements are deficient can be tested by blood tests. If you overeat and don’t know, it’s best to consult a physician or nutritionist if you want to know how to supplement.
Editor in charge: Li Zhi
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Originally published on https://www.soundofhope.org/post/583181