Hepatitis C Abstracts 1


A conservative triple antioxidant approach to the treatment of hepatitis C. Combination of alpha lipoic acid (thioctic acid), silymarin, and selenium: three case histories.
            (Berkson, 1999) Download
BACKGROUND: There has been an increase in the number of adults seeking liver transplantation for hepatitis C in the last few years and the count is going up rapidly. There is no reliable and effective therapy for chronic hepatitis C since interferon and antivirals work no more than 30% of the time, and liver transplant surgery is uncertain and tentative over the long run. This is because, ultimately, residual hepatitis C viremia infects the new liver. Furthermore, liver transplantation can be painful, disabling and extremely costly. TREATMENT PROGRAM: The author describes a low cost and efficacious treatment program in 3 patients with cirrhosis, portal hypertension and esophageal varices secondary to chronic hepatitis C infection. This effective and conservative regimen combines 3 potent antioxidants (alpha-lipoic acid [thioctic acid], silymarin, and selenium) that possess antiviral, free radical quenching and immune boosting qualities. CONCLUSION: There are no remarkably effective treatments for chronic hepatitis C in general use. Interferon and antivirals have less than a 30% response rate and because of the residual viremia, a newly transplanted liver usually becomes infected again. The triple antioxidant combination of alpha-lipoic acid, silymarin and selenium was chosen for a conservative treatment of hepatitis C because these substances protect the liver from free radical damage, increase the levels of other fundamental antioxidants, and interfere with viral proliferation. The 3 patients presented in this paper followed the triple antioxidant program and recovered quickly and their laboratory values remarkably improved. Furthermore, liver transplantation was avoided and the patients are back at work, carrying out their normal activities, and feeling healthy. The author offers a more conservative approach to the treatment of hepatitis C, that is exceedingly less expensive. One year of the triple antioxidant therapy described in this paper costs less than $2,000, as compared to mor than $300,000 a year for liver transplant surgery. It appears reasonable, that prior to liver transplant surgery evaluation, or during the transplant evaluation process, the conservative triple antioxidant treatment approach should be considered. If these is a significant betterment in the patient's condition, liver transplant surgery may be avoided.

Hepatitis C virus and natural compounds: a new antiviral approach?
            (Calland et al., 2012) Download
Hepatitis C is a major global health burden with an estimated 160 million infected individuals worldwide. This long-term disease evolves slowly, often leading to chronicity and potentially to liver failure. There is no anti-HCV vaccine, and, until recently, the only treatment available, based on pegylated interferon and ribavirin, was partially effective, and had considerable side effects. With recent advances in the understanding of the HCV life cycle, the development of promising direct acting antivirals (DAAs) has been achieved. Their use in combination with the current treatment has led to encouraging results for HCV genotype 1 patients. However, this therapy is quite expensive and will probably not be accessible for all patients worldwide. For this reason, constant efforts are being made to identify new antiviral molecules. Recent reports about natural compounds highlight their antiviral activity against HCV. Here, we aim to review the natural molecules that interfere with the HCV life cycle and discuss their potential use in HCV therapy.

Hepatitis C: epidemiology and review of complementary/alternative medicine treatments
            (Patrick, 1999) Download
Hepatitis C is emerging as a serious worldwide problem. In the United States the current mortality figures may triple in the next ten years, rivaling HIV. The disease has a latency of 10-30 years and symptoms or signs may not appear until cirrhosis is evident. Adequate diagnosis, including liver biopsy, is essential in assessing the current stage of the viral infection and the need for treatment. Hepatitis C may manifest as hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, lichen planus, glomerulonephritis, mixed cryoglobulinemia, or porphyria. The hepatic damage is due both to the cytopathic effect of the virus and the inflammatory changes secondary to immune activation. The use of the botanical components glycyrrhizin, catechin, silymarin and phytosterols, and the antioxidants N-acetylcysteine and vitamin E are reviewed for their efficacy in treating chronic hepatitis and affecting liver damage.

Adverse effects of high doses of intravenous alpha lipoic Acid on liver mitochondria.
            (Vigil et al., 2014) Download
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA, thioctic acid), among other actions, is an essential coenzyme in the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl co-enzyme A. Therefore, it is necessary for the production of energy for aerobic organisms. Scientists have found that it can be used medically to help regenerate liver tissue, reverse the complications of diabetes mellitus, slow or stop the growth of cancer cells, and chelate heavy metals, among other actions. In this article, the authors describe the cellular mitochondrial damage from excessively high doses of this beneficial agent.



Berkson, BM (1999), ‘A conservative triple antioxidant approach to the treatment of hepatitis C. Combination of alpha lipoic acid (thioctic acid), silymarin, and selenium: three case histories.’, Med Klin (Munich), 94 Suppl 3 84-89. PubMedID: 10554539
Calland, N, et al. (2012), ‘Hepatitis C virus and natural compounds: a new antiviral approach?’, Viruses, 4 (10), 2197-217. PubMedID: 23202460
Patrick, L. (1999), ‘Hepatitis C: epidemiology and review of complementary/alternative medicine treatments’, Altern Med Rev, 4 (4), 220-38. PubMedID: 10468647
Vigil, M, BM Berkson, and AP Garcia (2014), ‘Adverse effects of high doses of intravenous alpha lipoic Acid on liver mitochondria.’, Glob Adv Health Med, 3 (1), 25-27. PubMedID: 24753992