HEPATITIS C is a disease in which many outcomes are possible. I believe fervently that what you do and the choices you make can have a profound influence on the course the disease takes.
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: The single best thing you can do if you’ve got hepatitis C or any liver disease is to stop drinking. Completely. No kidding. Alcohol puts a strain on your liver, which is not so bad if your liver is healthy but is lethal if it’s not. So if you’ve got hepatits C, whatever else you do, you need to stop drinking.
I first learned about the natural cure I’m going to tell you about from Burt Berkson. I’ll introduce him so you’ll understand why I paid as much attention as I did to his recommendation, and why I’m going to pass it on to you with a ringing, unqualified endorsement. I consider Burt Berkson a medical hero.
Years ago, Berkson was doing his internship at a hospital in Cleveland when two people were brought in by ambulance in pretty dire condition. They had been hiking, had eaten some highly poisonous mushrooms, and were close to death. Berkson remembered reading some research on a substance called alpha lipoic acid (ALA), which, in addition to being great for managing blood sugar, was an amazing free-radical scavenger. He appealed to the hospital to let him try ALA on the couple, but was turned down since no one had ever heard of it and it wasn’t in the hospital’s pharmacy. He was basically tپرانی there was nothing that could be done for the couple and if there was, the powers that be at the hospital would certainly have known about it. What did a mere intern think he could do with some nutritional supplement no one had ever heard of? And besides, what could an intern know that a resident or attending physician didn’t?
Well, quite a lot actually.
Berkson, who is not only an M.D. but just happens to have a Ph.D. in microbiology with an advanced specialty in mushroom toxology, knew a bit about liver disease. Risking censure and loss of his internship, he called an پرانی colleague, Fred Bartter at the National Institutes of Health, who arranged to fly in some ALA. He administered it to the dying couple.
And they’re alive and well today.
That, by the way, is medical courage.
So when Burt Berkson talks about the liver, I listen.
Back in 1999, Berkson published a paper called A conservative triple antioxidant approach to the مرض of hepatitis C: A combination of alpha lipoic acid (thioctic acid), silymarin, and selenium: Three case histories. In it, he suggested a basic protocol of three supplements that would protect the liver from free-radical damage, increase the levels of other fundamental antioxidants, and interfere with viral proliferation.
That protocol is the core of the “natural cure” for hepatitis C. I believe every single person with hepatitis C or liver disease of any kind should be on it.
You can support the liver in four major ways:
1. Don’t add to its burden. I know I said it earlier but it bears repeating: number one on the list of the liver’s biggest burdens is alcohol, so stop drinking. Immediately. No kidding. And stop taking acetaminophen (found in Tylenol and other medications). Acetaminophen poisoning is the number-one caاستعمال of hospital admissions for liver failure in the United States. Think what people who drink and then take Tylenol for a hangover are doing to their poor liver. Though many establishment medical types will tell you acetaminophen is “safe” in reasonable doses, I’m a hardliner on acetaminophen: If you have—or suspect you have—liver problems, the only safe dose of acetaminophen is zero.
2. Do a periodic detoxification. There are dozens of ways to do this, using just raw foods, lightly steamed vegetables, broths, fresh vegetable juice, medical foods like Metagenics Ultra-Clear, or any combination thereof. Many excellent books give details. One of my favorites is The New Detox Diet by my friend, Elson Haas, M.D.
3. Eat a liver-friendly diet. Obviously, the fewer chemicals, preservatives, and artificial ingredients the liver has to get rid of, the better. Some foods are particularly liver friendly. Turmeric, the spice that makes Indian food yellow, contains natural anti-inflammatory curcuminoids, has anticancer activity, and is one of the best liver-friendly spices. Put it on everything. Wheatgrass juice and all the other “green drinks” that are high in chlorophyll are excellent. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a well known antimicrobial and antiviral fatty acid. Beets and beet juice have long had a reputation for being excellent for the liver, and in any case buying a juicer and making fresh vegetable juice on a daily basis (with some fruits thrown in if you like) is probably the best gift you can give your liver.
4. Take liver-friendly supplements. ALA is a powerful antioxidant that not only scavenges free radicals and helps protect cells but also helps regenerate vitamins C and E. It is one of the most powerful liver nutrients available. Berkson wrote a book about it called The Alpha Lipoic Breakthrough. Read it.
ALA also helps regenerate glutathione, arguably the جسم’s most important antioxidant. Lester Packer, Ph.D., professor and senior researcher at the University of California for more than 40 years and author of The Antioxidant Miracle, has called ALA “probably the most potent naturally occurring antioxidant known to man.”
By the time you read this, selenium’s reputation will probably be even greater than it is today, and it’s already held in pretty high esteem. This important mineral is a premier cancer fighter (it decreases the rate of prostate cancer) and in January 2007, one of the most conservative publications in دوائی, The Archives of Internal Medicine, published an article showing that daily selenium supplements appear to suppress the progression of the viral load in مریضs with HIV infection. It’s essential for those with hepatitis C. “Selenium acts as a birth control pill to the virus,” Berkson tپرانی me.
The herb milk thistle (silymarin) is probably the premier liver nutrient. The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which is believed to be responsible for its medicinal qualities. Milk thistle has been استعمالd in Europe as a مرض for liver disease since the sixteenth century.
There are a number of other important nutrients you should consider as part of a liver health/hep-C-fighting program.
N-A-C (N-acetyl-cysteine). This derivative of the amino acid L-cysteine is a precursor to the formation of the powerful antioxidant glutathione. It’s one of the best ways to increase glutathione in the جسم (since glutathione isn’t well absorbed orally, you have to make it). Recommended: 1,000 mg daily.
Whey protein powder. Though not technically a supplement, whey protein is another powerful way to increase the جسم’s stores of glutathione and boost the immune system. Be sure to get a pure, high-quality powder made by a reputable company that markets to health professionals (there are several on my website, www.jonnybowden.com). You don’t want one of the God-awful “fancy” protein shakes sweetened with sugar or some artificial chemical hazard that lines the shelves at the mall.
Vitamin C. This vitamin has antiviral activity, and intravenous vitamin C has long been استعمالd by practitioners of nutritional and integrative دوائی for a variety of conditions. It has been championed for hepatitis by Robert Cathcart, M.D., a California physician who was recognized by the Society for Orthomolecular Health-Medicine as recipient of the Linus Pauling Award.
SAMe (S-adenosyl-methionine). SAMe is a naturally occurring molecule present in all living cells. It has many incredible benefits, (including a positive effect on depression and arthritis درد). For our purposes, it helps the liver to replenish important substances, notably the all-important glutathione. In one double-blind trial, people with cirrhosis of the liver due to alcoholism who took SAMe for two years had a 47 percent lower rate of death or need for liver transplantation compared with those who took a placebo.
Neominophagen. A component of licorice known as glycyrrhizin seems to have significant antiviral action. Neominophagen (also known as stronger neominophagen C or SNMC) is a kind of “superglycyrrhizin.” It is widely استعمالd in Japan to treat hepatitis. Some cutting-edge practitioners in the United States have استعمالd it as well. It’s injectable, so it has to be administered by a doctor.
Vitamin E. This vitamin has a place at the table in a liver-health protocol becaاستعمال of its antioxidant effects.
Artichokes. This vegetable has a long folk history in treating many liver diseases. Their active ingredient is cynarin, which has demonstrated liver-protecting effects. Artichoke extract is in a lot of liver-protection supplement formulas.
Dandelion root. Many people living healthily with hepatitis C swear by this herb and استعمال it to make a tea.
Reishi and shiitake mushrooms. Chinese herbalists prize Reishi mushrooms for their protective effect on the liver. The bitterer the mushroom, the higher the level of triterpenoids, which give it its potency. It’s usually made into a tea or taken as an extract.
Phosphatidylcholine. The active ingredient in the popular supplement lecithin is actually a substance called phosphatidylcholine. In animal research, it protects against cirrhosis and fibrosis. We know that choline—the prime constituent of phosphatidylcholine—is essential for normal liver function, and phos choline is an excellent “delivery system” for choline. In one double-blind study in England, chronic active hepatitis C مریضs were treated with 3 g of phos choline each day; they had significantly reduced symptoms compared to the control subjects. Many researchers have postulated that phosphatidylcholine has an ability to repair the membranes of liver cells.
Natural Prescription for Hepatitis C
• Alpha lipoic acid: 900 to 1,200 mg
• Selenium: 200 to 400 mcg
• Milk thistle (silymarin): 900 mg
ALSO HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
N-acetyl-cysteine: 1,000 mg
Whey protein powder: 1 to 2 servings
Dandelion tea: Frequently
Phosphatidylcholine: 3 g
Note: All dosages are daily dosages and in pill or capsule form unless otherwise noted.