Portal hypertension is the main complication of cirrhosis and represents a leading cause of death in patients with chronic liver disease. Therapeutic agents to improve portal hypertension should ameliorate the underlying mechanisms of portal hypertension: the elevated hepatic resistance and the hyperdynamic circulation. In the present issue of Clinical Science, Hsu and co-workers show the beneficial effects of GTPs (green tea polyphenols) in improving portal hypertension. Long-term administration of GTPs inhibited the development of cirrhosis and portal hypertension by decreasing both hepatic resistance and splanchnic hyperdynamic circulation. The main underlying mechanism of the benefits of GTPs appears related to the down-regulation of splanchnic angiogenesis. The present study adds further evidence supporting the potential of natural compounds for an effective nutriceutical approach to the treatment of patients with cirrhosis of the liver.

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