How do diets containing vegetable proteins compare to diets rich in animal protein in the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE)?

Updated: Apr 04, 2019
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Diets containing vegetable proteins appear to be better tolerated than diets rich in animal protein, especially proteins derived from red meats. This may be because of increased content of dietary fiber, a natural cathartic, and decreased levels of aromatic amino acids. Aromatic amino acids, as precursors of the false neurotransmitters tyramine and octopamine, are thought to inhibit dopaminergic neurotransmission and worsen hepatic encephalopathy.


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