International Journal of Medical Sciences

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16 January 2019

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Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(6):730-737. doi:10.7150/ijms.6104

Research Paper

Status of Essential Trace Minerals and Oxidative Stress in Viral Hepatitis C Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Chih-Hung Guo1, Pei-Chung Chen1, Wang-Sheng Ko2✉

1. Micro-Nutrition & Biomedical Nutrition Labs, Institute of Biomedical Nutrition, Hung Kuang University, Taichung 433, Taiwan, Republic of China
2. Department of Internal Medicine, Kuang Tien General Hospital, Taichung 433, Taiwan, Republic of China


Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may be an important factor leading to altered trace mineral homeostasis, thereby accelerating the progression of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Our aim was to determine whether NAFLD influenced the status of certain essential trace minerals and oxidative stress in chronic HCV-infected patients.

Design and Methods: Blood biochemical parameters were determined in a group of 30 healthy, non-obese, non-diabetic participants (CNL group), and hepatitis C patients without NAFLD (HCV group, n = 30) and with NAFLD (HCV-NAFLD group, n = 32).

Results: Concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS; a measure of oxidative stress), C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, aminotransferases, lipid profiles, and insulin metabolism were markedly abnormal in both patient groups than in CNL subjects. Compared to patients in the HCV group, those with HCV-NAFLD group had lower high-density lipoprotein concentrations, higher low-density lipoprotein and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values, disrupted antioxidant enzyme activities, and elevated TBARS concentrations, as well as decreased plasma concentrations of trace minerals zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) and increased copper (Cu). The alterations in mineral homeostasis were also linked to TBARS, CRP, ferritin, lipoproteins, and HOMA-IR values in the HCV-NAFLD group.

Conclusions: There is a progressive deterioration in the homeostasis of minerals (Zn, Se, and Cu) in HCV-NAFLD patients, which may reflect greater oxidative stress and inflammation. These results suggest that the disturbance in mineral metabolism by NAFLD has an impact on the effectiveness of treatment for chronic HCV infection.

Keywords: chronic hepatitis C, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, essential trace minerals, oxidative stress, inflammation

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Guo CH, Chen PC, Ko WS. Status of Essential Trace Minerals and Oxidative Stress in Viral Hepatitis C Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(6):730-737. doi:10.7150/ijms.6104. Available from