Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Efficacy of branched-chain amino acid supplementation and walking exercise for preventing sarcopenia in patients with liver cirrhosis

Buy Article:

$52.00 + tax (Refund Policy)


Sarcopenia is recognized as a condition related to quality of life and prognosis in patients with chronic liver disease, although no useful strategy for improving muscle volume and strength has been established. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of supplementation with branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) administration and walking exercise.

Patients and methods

From December 2015 to July 2016, 33 Japanese outpatients with liver cirrhosis were enrolled (median: 67 years, HCV : HBV : alcohol : others=26 : 2 : 2 : 3, male : female=13 : 20, Child-Pugh A : B=30 : 3). None had a history of BCAA supplementation. After calculating the average number of daily steps using a pedometer for a 2–3-week period, BCAA supplementation (protein 13.5 g, 210 kcal/day) as a late evening snack and walking exercise (additional 2000 steps/day prescribed) were started. Body composition including muscle volume was analyzed using a bioelectrical impedance analysis method, and serological data and muscle strength (leg, handgrip) were evaluated at enrollment, and then 1, 2, and 3 months after starting the protocol.


The median average number of daily steps was 3791 (interquartile range: 2238–5484). The average period of BCAA supplementation was 2.7±0.7 months. During the period from enrollment to 3 months after starting the protocol, HbA1c and NH3 were not significantly changed, whereas the BCAA/tyrosine ratio improved (4.3±1.35 to 5.24±2.04, P=0.001). In addition, the ratios for average daily steps (1.595, P=0.02) as well as muscle volume, leg strength, and handgrip strength (1.013, 1.110, and 1.056, respectively; all P<0.01) were increased at 3 months.


BCAA supplementation and walking exercise were found to be effective and easily implemented for improving muscle volume and strength in liver cirrhosis patients.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: exercise; late evening snack; liver cirrhosis; sarcopenia; walking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Gastroenterology Center, Ehime Prefectural Central Hospital, Matsuyama 2: Department of Rehabilitation, Ehime Prefectural Central Hospital 3: Department of Gastroenterology and Metabology, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Toon, Japan

Publication date: December 1, 2017

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more