Interesting study that suggests large doses of Vitamin C may blunt the effects of Chemo when treating cancer patients.
Not directly relevant to HCV treatment, however what comes to mind is that the effect of understudied addtive agents, be it large doses of vitamins or herbs, is understudied and therefore they may impact HCV combo therapy in unknown ways.
Like many here, my liver specialist told me to take only a multi-vitamin (without iron) during treatment. This is not to say that other supplements are harmful, but just to say that the effects may be unpredictable -- even counter-intutive -- as is the case in the study here. So sometimes, trying to do more can backfire.
I wonder if calcium is harmful, women are supposed to take a minium of 1200 mgs of calcium a day to prevent osteoporosis but now I'm concerned about taking any of my vitamins. I have been taking calcium, B-complex, C, E and selenium. I'm going to stop until I consult my doctor.
In a post several months ago I believe you or another of our resident smart persons( I am serious , i'm not being sarcastic ) mentioned that some research suggested that anything anti inflamitory may not be benificial while on treatment. Maybe it was HR.
Something to do with the way anything antinflamitory interfering with Interferons effects somehow.
Do you or anyone else remember. It may of been in the PPC post now that I think about it.
Anyway its something to think about.
Before I started treating, I was taking an individual dose of all the vitamins, calcium, flax oil, milk thistle, schizandra, tumeric etc. This combination allowed me to reduce my AST and ALT counts while I was waiting to start (about one year). I had been suffering from fatigue, and it really worked to give me back some energy.
When I finally started treatment, I was told to cut out everything except one vitamin E, one multi B and one C. No calcium, no anti-inflammatories or alternative medicines whatsoever.
Chemotherapy drugs damage the mitochondria in cancer cells. When mitochondria are damaged, they send signals to the cell to die. That's one way chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells. According to the link you posted, Vitamin C protects the mitochondria, therefore preventing chemotherapy drugs from working well.
But on the other hand, the Hepatitis C virus damages the mitochondria in liver cells (by a process of oxidation). Once the mitochondria are damaged, they send signals to the liver cells to die.
Since Vitamin C protects the mitochondria.... then taking Vitamin C would protect liver cells. So in theory, Vitamin C should be beneficial for HCV.
On a sort of related topic....
A recent study done to investigate mechanisms that contribute to chemotherapy drug resistance in cancer cells, showed reduced uptake of certain substances, including nutrients such as glucose in chemo-resistant cells. In other words, insulin resistant cells were resistant to chemotherapy drugs.
And a breast cancer study showed that the response rate to chemotherapy in diabetic patients taking Metformin (which reduces insulin resistance) was three times higher than the rate in diabetic patients not taking Metformin.
And that is exciting....because besides increasing SVR, maybe Metformin will also reduce the risk of liver cancer in people with Hep C.
"In a post several months ago I believe you or another of our resident smart persons( I am serious , i'm not being sarcastic ) mentioned that some research suggested that anything anti inflamitory may not be benificial while on treatment. Maybe it was HR.
Something to do with the way anything antinflamitory interfering with Interferons effects somehow. "
A recent study showed that aspirin (which is an anti-inflammatory), inhibits viral replication.....and it was due in part to inhibition of COX-2.
And I remember reading studies that showed that Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory), which is also a COX-2 inhibitor, lowered HCV viral load and decreased the risk of liver cancer.
Here's the aspirin study.....
Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Acid) Inhibits HCV Replication in Laboratory Study
Due to the limitations of interferon-based therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, researchers have explored various alternative therapies. In the May 2008 issue of Hepatology, Mexican researchers reported on a laboratory study of the anti-HCV activity of acetylsalicylic acid, better known as aspirin.
The investigators were interested in testing acetylsalicylic acid against HCV because it has previously been reported that salicylates inhibit the replication of other flaviviruses including Japanese encephalitis virus and dengue virus.
In the present study, the researchers examined the effects of acetylsalicylic acid on viral replication and protein expression using an HCV subgenomic replicon cell culture system. They incubated Huh7 replicon cells with 2-8 mM acetylsalicylic acid for different durations, and measured HCV RNA and protein levels using Northern blot, Western blot, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays.
• Acetylsalicylic acid had a suppressive effect on HCV RNA and protein levels of nearly 58%.
• Acetylsalicylic acid-dependent inhibition of HCV expression was not mediated by the 5'-internal ribosome entry site or 3'-untranslated regions.
• However, HCV-induced cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) messenger RNA and protein levels and activity were down-regulated by acetylsalicylic acid, possibly via a nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappa-B)-independent mechanism.
• Acetylsalicylic acid-dependent inhibition of viral replication was due in part to inhibition of COX-2 and activation of p38 and MEK1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs).
• Inhibition of these kinases, for example by short interfering RNA silencing, blocked the antiviral effect of acetylsalicylic acid.
The investigators concluded that, "our findings suggest that the anti-HCV effect of acetylsalicylic acid in the Huh7 replicon cells is due to its inhibitory effect on COX-2 expression, which is mediated in part by the activation of MEK1/2/p38 MAPK."
These findings, they added, "suggest the possibility that acetylsalicylic acid could be an excellent adjuvant in the treatment of chronic HCV infection."
CO: Since Vitamin C protects the mitochondria.... then taking Vitamin C would protect liver cells. So in theory, Vitamin C should be beneficial for HCV.
You may have missed my point, and perhaps I didn't make it clear enough.
My point was not that Vitamin C might diminish SVR -- I really have no knowledge one way or another -- but that one should be reasonably cautious about adding/undertaking any aggressive vitamin/herbal regimen to SOC because the end result may be unpredictable as it was with the cancer treatment/vitamin c article.
So once again, I'm not saying that taking vitamin c is bad for the liver or treatment.
You have a good point. Because of my RVR, I was extremely reluctant to deviate from the tried and true because I didn't want to jinx what I figured at one point was around a 90% chance of SVR. Had I been a slow responder -- or previous NR -- then I would have been a lot more open to go outside of the box.
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