Question: What nutritional support is documented for hepatitis C?
That question comes from an HSI member named Kaylie. In her e-mail, she didnt elaborate, so we can only imagine that Kaylie, or someone she cares for, is one of the millions of people worldwide afflicted with hepatitis C.
Many health professionals regard hepatitis C an even graver threat to our public health than HIV and AIDS, because this infection can lead to cirrhosis (a debilitating liver disease) and can even transform into primary liver cancer.
But to answer Kaylies question: Yes, there is nutritional support for this dangerous condition.
Hepatitis C is caused by a virus, which is spread by contact with contaminated blood or organs:
Most cases of hepatitis C are caused by using contaminated needles to inject drugs (sharing needles). Even a tiny amount of blood left on a needle from an infected person is enough to cause spread to others. Using other used injecting items such as syringes, etc, is sometimes a cause of infection.
Some people who received blood transfusions and blood products several years ago were infected with hepatitis C from some donor blood. In recent years, all blood donated in the UK is checked for the hepatitis C virus (and for certain other blood-borne infections). So, the risk of contracting hepatitis C from a blood transfusion is now very small.
There is also a risk of contracting hepatitis C from needlestick accidents, or other injuries involving blood spillage from infected people.
There is thought to be a small risk of contracting the virus from sharing toothbrushes, razors, and other such items which may be contaminated with blood. Also, from using equipment which is not sterile for tattooing, body piercing, etc.
There is a small risk that an infected mother can pass on the infection to her baby.
There is a small risk that an infected person can pass on the virus whilst having sex.
You cannot pass on the virus during normal social contact such as holding hands, hugging, sharing cups or crockery, etc.
If you think you may be at risk, ask your doctor for a blood test to check for infection.
If you are infected, your doctor may recommend Alpha interferon injections – alone or in combination with Ribavirin, an antiviral medication. But this treatment comes with the risk of considerable side effects.
Alpha interferon can cause flu-like side symptoms, depression, hair thinning, and can lower the production of white blood cells and platelets. Ribavirin is known to cause severe anaemia and serious birth defects. And there have also been reports of people on combination Alpha interferon/Ribavirin therapy having suicidal impulses.
C versus C
For an alternative to Alpha interferon, I called on HSI Panellist Dr Allan Spreen, to address Kaylies question about documented nutritional support for hepatitis C.
Dr. Spreen started off by noting that the rub is the word documented. Medical journals have not promoted research on nutritional strategies to address hepatitis C. So with the caveat that we still dont have mainstream documentation, here are Dr. Spreens suggestions:
Dr Fred Klenner, showed decades ago (along with Dr Robert Cathcart) that ultra-high-dose intravenous vitamin C can kill any invader, bacterial or viral. However, nobody would look at their research and therefore wouldnt call it documented.
In more doable dosages (and non-IV), the 2 biggies that Id be using would be milk thistle extract (silymarin) and NAC (n-acetyl cysteine). They are amazing supplements, but again documentation is subject to debate (although NAC is used intravenously in accident and emergency rooms for toxic overdoses).
Olive leaf extract and grapefruit seed extract (not grape seed) are both anti-bacterial and anti-viral…very little question there if you know where to look (Citricidal has a whole book on the grapefruit seed issue).
In Dr. Spreens opinion a patient with hepatitis C has nothing to lose by using these supplements because, there are NO drugs effective against hepatitis C (end of story), and all the above-mentioned supplements are almost devoid of side effects and/or toxicities.
To Dr. Spreens list I would also add an immune system booster called Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC).
In a previous e-alert I told you about AHCC, which is made from hybridised Japanese mushrooms and has been shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells by as much as 300 percent.
At the AHCC Research Associations 8th symposium in Sapparo, Japan, researchers presented studies and individual patient cases indicating that AHCC can successfully address hepatitis C and other liver diseases.
At that symposium, a doctor from the Centres for Integrative and Complementary Medicine in New York reported that AHCC had helped hepatitis C patients drop their viral load by as much as 89 percent in as little as four months. And in a Japanese study, 40 hepatitis patients treated with AHCC experienced more energy and appetite, increased platelet counts, and a halt in the progressive development of cirrhosis.
If you have hepatitis C, talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional before beginning a regimen of AHCC or any other dietary supplements.