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Yumiko Nagao, Hisako Matsuoka, Takumi Kawaguchi, Michio Sata
Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(4): PI7-12
Patients with chronic liver diseases have a taste disorder and altered zinc metabolism. We investigated the effects of a supplement enriched with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) (Aminofeel) on sensitivity to different tastes in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected liver disease.
Material and Method: Nine patients (mean age 63.3+/-9.1 years) with HCV-related liver diseases were identified and examined for sensitivity to different tastes. Eight patients had no awareness of taste disorders, and 3 patients had oral lichen planus. We examined 4 tastes (sweet, salty, sour, and bitter) using a Taste Disk and sensitivity to different tastes was rated on a 6-point scale (I, II, III, IV, V, and VI). Each patient was given one sachet of Aminofeel after breakfast and another at bedtime for 90 days.
Results: Only one patient was aware of a taste disorder before administration of Aminofeel, but 4 patients had decreased gustatory sensitivity in the sour taste test, and 2 had it in the bitter taste test. Sensitivity to sour tastes significantly increased after the administration of Aminofeel(R) (P=0.03). Sensitivity to sweet tastes increased after the administration of Aminofeel (P=0.06). Zinc value significantly increased after the administration of Aminofeel (P=0.02).
Conclusions: Patients with HCV-infected liver disease have decreased sensitivity to different tastes and decreased zinc levels. Some patients were unaware that they had a taste disorder. Aminofeel improved sensitivity to different tastes and increased zinc values. Thus, Aminofeel is a useful therapeutic agent for taste disorders.