I talked with an old friend today and found out he also has hep c. During our discussion he mentioned he goes over to Las Cruces NM and sees a doctor that is treating him with mostly Alpha Lipoic Acid. I had never heard of such a thing. He feels this treatment is working for him. Anyone have any info about this?
The doctor is Dr. Burton Berkson, who is the lead FDA investigator of lipoic acid. He wrote a very good book about lipoic acid and its functions in the body. Lipoic acid is made in great abundance by the body when you are young, and it is especially concentrated in the liver. However, with age, your body's endogenous production of lipoic acid is decreased, so supplementation is very effective for liver problems. It also decreases insulin resistance, it is both a water soluble and lipid soluble antioxidant, it chelates heavy metals, it has two sulfer groups. It also increases energy due to its involvement in the Krebs cycle in the mitochondria.
Dr. Berkson also uses LDN (low dose naltrexone) on his hep c patients with great effect.
I know a 76 year old lady who has been going to him for over ten years from a Yahoo LDN group. She has geno 1a, has had hep c for 45 years, at one time long ago had fibrosis graded by biopsy at stage 3. Now she is fine, still has hep c, but her liver is fine.
Thanks for the info. I researched LDN and was impressed with the clinical trials in Nov 08. There seems to be a strong disagreement from the group who wants to kill the virus and the group that wants to protect against it. I don't have a clue. Using LDN and Alpha Lipoic Acid is a new one on me.
Berkson first discovered lipoic acid's liver protective effect when he was doing his residency. The area where he was practicing had abundant wild mushrooms and a couple came in with toxic liver poisoning due to ingesting poisonous mushrooms. Berkson's supervisor told him to give them morphine but that was all because they were going to die. But Berkson knew someone who had just purified a quantity of lipoic acid for research and he had him send him some. After IV administration of lipoic acid the couple walked out of the hospital in two days. The same incident was repeated a few weeks later on a couple who had ingested a great deal more, and who were believed to be sure to die. They too recovered in a matter of days.
The discovery of the extreme hepatoprotective effects of lipoic acid on the liver make it especially important for hepatitis patients as an oral supplement at least.
As for LDN, it has been used on cancer patients, MS, Crohn's and many other autoimmune diseases with great success. It is an extremely effective immunomodulator, which works way "upstream" in immune system optimization by causing an endorphin bloom. Endorphins are cell messengers that scientists have discovered direct the immune system - mobilization, proliferation and differentiation of the immune cells.
Many people on this board view LDN as a gimmick to dissuade people from treating hep c with conventional medicine. However, I believe that it is useful for people prior to conventional treatment, after tx, and especially for nonresponders who couldn't finish tx, which was my case.
LDN dropped my viral load from 1.6 million to 58 thousand in three months. Three months later it was at 219 thousand. It had been up to 7 million in the last four years. Another LDN user went from 9 million to 900 thousand in three months. Another went from 5 million to 632 thousand in three months on LDN.
Do you know any cases where the LDN is taken while on TX with Interferon and Riba? Does the LDN lower platelets or hemoglobin or anything else? My husband already has cirrhosis. I am interested to find out more as we are running out of medical options.
I have never heard of LDN being used with interferon/riba, but that doesn't mean that it might not be a good fit. I have heard that svr rates increase if immune system strength is strong going into tx. LDN does not adversely affect labs when used by itself or with supplements; also it has been used with chemotherapy for cancer with no adverse effects.
Regarding cirhosis, LDN decreases stress on the liver by decreasing viral load and inflammation, thereby giving the liver an opportunity to decrease fibrosis and increase function. Many of the people on LDN have cirhosis, but usually after failed treatment.
Here is a radio show about LDN: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Mary-Boyle-Bradley/2009/05/26/The-Mary-Bradley-Show-
Sorry I couldn't completely answer your questions. LDN is new, but its use is growing, including in the hep c community.
I will ask the liver doctor about it. They are more open to letting my husband try things because he has failed everything so far. I'll see if it is something they know about yet. We are way too far from New Mexico to consider Dr. Berkson. I'll try to do some homework on this.
I just saw this which further peaks my interest. I keep searching for hope in what seems quite hopless at times:
LDN is non-toxic and has no side-effects. Its only interaction with other drugs is with narcotics (such as morphine, Demerol and Percocet), which it briefly blocks.
If this is true, maybe this kid be thrown in to Joe's chemical soup. If any one knows why this could be bad,speak now so I don't kill my husband instead of curing him. I would have to be able to talk a Doctor in to this to get it.
From what I understand this is perscribed in 50 mil. Who breaks it up into 3 or 4.5 mils? Also are there 2 types? The standard and the slow release? From what I understand you don't want the slow release. I suspect my doctor is cluless on this or alpha. She has learned more from me about hep c and I have learned more here then she knows.
The high dose (50mg) is for heroin and alcohol addicts.
The low dose form is 1.5mg-4.5mg and it has to be made by a compounding pharmacy.
There is a website www.lowdosenaltrexone.org that has a list of accuracy-verified compounding pharmacies. You fax the prescription to them and they ship your capsules to you. Even with all that it is still $30 dollars a month. You want the standard form.
Naltrexone has been shown to be hepatoprotective even in high dose form. It has over twenty years of use in the field in high dose form with no side-effects. The low dose form is so small it almost a homeopathic dose.
I could send you a database of doctors who presently prescribe LDN.
I called Dr. Burton Berkson office today to inquire if they knew of any Doctors here in Tucson that did his protacol and was told they knew of none. It is a 4 hour drive but if I can't find someone here I may make an appointment. In my case with both hep c and diabetes, geno 1b high viral load, age of 62 and had the virus over 30 years plus throw in all the blood numbers that show a lot of liver damage, I really don't think TX will work for me. I am sure I could get a script from my doctoe for LDN but the Alpha Lipoic Acid dosage seems to be somewhat unclear.
I believe that Dr. Berkson does intravenous infusions of ALA now. He used to use the pills but feels the infusions work better. I can't tell you where I read this because I read so much I can't remember. There is a yahoo group that is in to LDN and I think I read a discussion on it there. I had kind of dismissed the LDN after reading a bit when we still had more hope with Joe's present tx but as hope wanes, I'm looking again.
I just thought of something else too There is another form of Alpha Lipoic Acid which is said to be more potent. I think it is called R-lipoic acid. Life extension foundation has information on it. I called them about it once but have not bought it yet as I had lots of the other to use up. All these supplements really add up.
Half of the naturopaths in the country offer nutritional IVs. Once a doctor has prescribed LDN and has set up an IV protocol, any naturopath in your area can then administer the IVs at a much lower cost than a doctor's clinic.
I just typed R Lipoic Acid in my browser, lots of sources, cheap too, $10.50, No prescription mentioned. Is it the same? I'm new here. I now take liv 52 and milk thistle, plus the Lactulose, and other prescription. As well as an Infra red sauna. I am also looking at sst and now this. I have psoriasis bad, we just started humira to get that under control, before we start the treatment. I have type 2 thankfully, My liver is improving.
Does any one know of an alternative, that may make it spontaneously disappear?
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