What is the role of low-protein diets in the treatment of cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Low-protein diets were recommended routinely in the past for patients with cirrhosis. High levels of aromatic amino acids contained in animal proteins were believed to lead to increased blood levels of the false neurotransmitters tyramine and octopamine, with resultant worsening of encephalopathic symptoms. In this author's experience, the vast majority of patients can tolerate a protein-rich diet (>1.2 g/kg daily) that includes well-cooked chicken, fish, vegetable protein, and, if needed, protein supplements.


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