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Milk Thistle while taking Interferon:
One last time....
Milk thistle & Interferon--Dr. Weil's answer:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA326618

Q  
Looking for a Liver Cure?
Is it okay to take milk thistle with interferon injections?
A
Answer

You definitely can - and should - take milk thistle if you're being treated with interferon (for chronic hepatitis B or C, I assume). Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is an herb that protects the liver from toxic injury and stimulates regeneration of the liver. It does this by enhancing the metabolism of hepatocytes, the working cells of the liver. Milk thistle products are available in health food stores. Look for standardized extracts in tablet or capsule form, and follow the dosage on the label. You can take milk thistle indefinitely.

I've known a number of patients who have reversed hepatitis C using milk thistle in conjunction with another natural remedy, Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis), the fruit of a Chinese plant. Schizandra berries, like milk thistle, are nontoxic and support healthy liver function. I usually recommend them as part of a natural treatment protocol developed by Dr. Qingcai Zhang in New York. (www.dr-zhang.com)

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. There are several forms of viral hepatitis (the type treated with interferon, an anti-viral drug). Hepatitis C is a progressing disease that slowly destroys liver cells even while infected people remain symptom-free. It typically is diagnosed after a patient complains of fatigue or abdominal tenderness or after routine blood tests show elevated liver enzyme levels. Hepatitis C is transmitted by infected blood (via blood transfusions, hemodialysis, or by sharing needles with intravenous drug users). The disease usually becomes chronic, and in about 15 percent of cases (over a period of 20-30 years) leads to cirrhosis of the liver and, sometimes, liver cancer.

Hepatitis B, also due to a viral infection and common in parts of Asia, becomes chronic in only five to 10 percent of cases. It is transmitted via blood transfusions, IV drug use, sexual contact, or from an infected pregnant mother to her fetus. Symptoms include jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Milk thistle can be safely used with the medical treatments available to treat either type of hepatitis.

Andrew Weil, M.D.


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Page 5 of 5
92903 tn?1309908311
I don't stand behind this study, I just thought it presented a reasonable counterpoint to your 'few facts' in C33. Still, to call it 'poorly conceived' seems a little harsh. It wouldn't seem far-fetched to infer there was some evidence of synergy with Vits E and C to cause them to study the two combined. Clearly it doesn't prove vitamin C as a single agent will reverse cirrhosis - but it does call into question your suggestion that vitamin C will advance fibrosis progression - which was my point in posting it.  

"How can you improve biopsy scores without reducing inflammation"

Don't understand why you're asking, but surely this is possible. In a healthy liver environment, there is ongoing apoptosis and necrosis. This cell death results in the laying down of cologen - which is eventually absorbed. Ideally there is a balance, and the cologen levels don't build as we see when fibrosis is progressing. In an inflamed liver, of course more cologen is layed down, and the balance can tip towards fibrosis. If we can speed up the breakdown and absorbtion of that cologen, we can make headway against the fibrosis, even in the absence of reduced inflamation.

At the end of the day (literally here) we have a double blind study with biopsies on both ends showing significant histological improvement on a regimen that includes vitamin C, balanced against a hepatologist with great credentials saying vitamin C *could* increase oxidative stress.

We've heard from two sides, each with merit. Take from it what you will, and please pass the OJ ;-)    
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Just Google "vitamin c and iron absorption."

There was absolutely no value in the abstract that Goofydad posted when it cames to defining what role, if any, vitamin c plays in improving histology. So, how you can take a side on the issue based on that is truly amazing. There is no possible way to tease that data out of that study. That was my point to Goofydad, and the point still stands.

You can take all of the vitamin c you want personally, but in light of the science I would hope you wouldn't encourage anyone with a compromised liver to follow your suit. 65 mg is all your body needs. The conservative approach is wise with all things when you have a diseased liver.

Yours in truth,
Mr Liver
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Get back to the topic and save your philosophy for someone else. Vitamin C is not good in large doses for those with a compromised liver. This is well known medical science as you must know by now. It has nothing to do with Dr Everson. I told you to Google it. If you did, then you know the truth. If  you didn't, then you do not want to know the truth. I've been coming here off and on for the last seven years. Long enough to know who makes the rules. And it ain't you.
Yours in truth,
Mr Liver
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86075 tn?1238118691
and it ain't you either...
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86075 tn?1238118691
no one's ganging up on you, you took issue with both of us individually, and the both of us answered you individually....and I stand by my contention that Vitamin C for one person, might not play out the same as for another person...having known many hep c patients who take more then 65mg without any excess iron issues...These things should be looked at on a case by case basis as I stated before...as youre posts are getting a little hostile, and youre not really answering my contentions, I wonder if I HAVE met you before, but I'll let it go at that...well, we beat this little horsie enough, good day to you....
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"it wouldn't seem far-fetched to infer there was some evidence "

You can't "infer" that there is evidence. There is either evidence, or there is none. In this case, there is absolutly none, whatsoever. This is science, not a guessing game.

You cannot lower bx scores while inflammation is ongoing and unaffected. Natural aptosis is accounted for in the range of ALT/AST. This is why the normal lab value for ALT and AST enzymes in not 0. To see fibrosis improve, while inflammation remains unchanged, goes against all the known medical science on this subject. As you noted yourself, inflammation leads to fibrosis.

There is absolutely no doubt that vitamin c increases the rate of iron absorption. There are many studies to support it. Just Google "vitamin c and iron absorption". When a reputable doctor says something "may" do something it does not mean there is a question in their mind, in this case, of the known vitamin c/iron interaction. He is saying "may" because nothing is 100% and universal. There might be someone for whom this phenomenon does not hold  true for. An irresponsible doctor might have said 'will" in its place.  This would be all-inclusive and incorrect verbiage. Scientists, like Dr Everson, deal in exact meanings.

I've come here for just a couple of days and one thing sure stands out-alot of folks here like to argue. To save you and the others time, I can assure all of you that I do post anything that I cannot back up from a reputable source. I do not "guess", make "inferences" out of incomplete information, say "if this" and "if that". (Such as in "IF we speed up the breakdown of collagen....")  I do not post studies I do not understand myself. You will find your time much better spent studying hepatitis c , rather than arguing with me .

Anyone can see that the information you posted was entirely useless.There is no way to tell if a synergy exists. How would you do that ?
There is no way to tell if it was just the vitamin e. Now if you don't see how  this study fails to disclose anything meaningful, I can't help you.

Yours in truth,
Mr Liver
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92903 tn?1309908311
It's hard to know where to start....

Of course one can reasonably infer evidence exists. OJ got arrested - I infered there must be some evidence that tied him to the crime. See how that works?

You're quick to fault the 'ifs' and 'mays' in my post, but the paragraph in which they're used makes the point that something is *possible* happen. That is made clear in the leading sentence. Ifs and mays are the bedfellows of coulds,  and possibles. It's worth noting that the excerpt upon which you base your case contains two 'may's and one 'could'.

Here's the point. You want science - I posted science. You posted conjecture taken from page 80 of a book. Simce your a fan of science proof - how's about a controlled study that proves Vitamin C will advance fibrosis? Anything short of that strikes me as suppositition.

As far as the abstract - the point here is that yes - vitamin C increases iron absorbtion - and iron causes oxidative stress, but the anti oxidant properties of vitamin C 'seem' to outway the oxidative properties of the iron. I don't stand behid it, but it's a worthwhile data point.

You seem to view your manners in contrast to the people here who like to argue, then go on to state that my posted information posted information is 'entirely worthless'. Me thinks those words are inflamatory and argumentative, and perhaps there's a leetle bit of the pot calling the kettle black. I think this horse has been plogged more than enough. Take care and be well Mr Liver - I'm done.  
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86075 tn?1238118691
I can't help but think there is a bit of arrogance in your last few posts...we're all posting on a site here, typing away...some people back up things they say with studies, some don't...some of these studies are contradicted by other studies, years later...a few of us actually know each other offline, but most of us don't...we are, for the most part, a lot of people with hep c, and we take a lot of what we read here on faith...the support here is wonderful, but we do argue points and premises as well...

It would be very presumptuous for me to suggest that I have the last word on many of these issues...In terms of discussing and arguing "points" I am merely positing my opinions, like everyone else here....none of us are doctors....or professional experts in these fields....we're laymen...or at least the vast majority of us...you have not stated what, if any, professional capacity you have.

Being around here as long as I have, has convinced me that not all doctors are right all of the time, not by a long shot...I don't really "know" you, and you don't know me...you can state your opinions, and the rest of us will either agree with you, or not...the same goes for me and everyone else here...When you say, that you will *never* infer, or guess, and never post studies that you don't completely understand, how on earth would I know that? Because of your assurances? So much of this is subjective, for you to even make statements like that is puzzling...I'd rather read your arguments as to why you support your contentions and not mine (you seem to be an intelligent gent) then to be assured by you...that I shouldn't even bother arguing with you...what absolute twaddle...And are you not arguing my contentions now? You must like to argue yourself...

There have been more then a few "experts" here in past few years I've been here...Who boldly stated that they alone had the real "facts" about this disease, and inferred or stated that the rest of us were merely amateurs and/or onlookers to their golden truths.....so we might as well not even bother to argue with them....I just don't buy it. While some people are more knowledgeable (generally speaking) then others...No one here is infallible...you might be a much better *student* of hepatitis then I am....but we are both students after all....

Until "science" is advanced enough to wipe out this disease completely...and they then supply all the supporting data for their grand cure....A lot of this is testing out various drugs on patients, and theory and speculation based on statistical data - and imperfect studies...A few highly credentialed "experts" have told me as much...

And while the experts are making such great strides and advances, and yet they still stumble and fall so often.... how on earth can any one of us be assured of the fact that we know so much? - that other members needn't even bother arguing our points?...And really, how can you emphatically state that 65 mg of Vitamin C is all that anyone needs with a compromised liver? Not every hepatologist agrees with this.....That would seem to go against your well taken point - that these elements are not universal in the way they effect patients with liver disease, there are just *way* too many variables...Let's talk case by case basis. I certainly don
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I am glad you are done. Each post by you gets successively less relevant to the facts.

First off, you inferred a connection between two things with NO EVIDENCE at ALL See the difference ? You cannot infer that one thing is responsible for an outcome if there is no way to derive that inference form the facts presented.

You posted poor science. I showed you the flaws. Nowhere in that article can you determine what role,if any, vitamin C played. Argue the point all you want, but it won't change that fact. YOU interpeted the study INCORRECTLY as shown by your header subject for that post. "Vitamin C improves fibrosis".
Why don't you just admit you did not understand the study ?

It was you that posted mere speculation and conjecture. I posted science. And just like I told your companion, go Google it if you want to learn. I gave you the keywords. Then come back and apologize if you are man enough.
Yours in truth,
Mr Liver
ps-ganging up won't work--I've dealt with people like you before.
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86075 tn?1238118691
nice to see you in good form...
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I would think I'd recall your name if you've been here for 7 years - especially with a name like Mr. Liver. What name did you use before this one?
Mike
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86075 tn?1238118691
I think I read somewhere that you were doing some kind of sport? you sound good...I'm glad for you...
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Case by case basis???It would be foolish and a giant waste of time and money. Since taking vitamin c in large doses is known to increase iron absorption, and since vitamin c is not required above 65 mg ,it is much easier to make a recommendation for everyone NOT to take excessive amounts.  I know people who drank and smoked heavy all of their lives and lived to be 110. According to your logic no one should advise someone not to do these things because a few people have succeeded at longevity despite their addictions to substances that carry significant KNOWN health risks. Do it on a case by case basis. Take your logic a step further. We should all ignore warnings and precautions on medicines and take it all on a case by case basis,too. We should run to the doc with every tube and bottle of whatever and say " you know this stuff says not to take it if you have a liver problem, but I want to see if I can get away with taking it anyway." When the sign says " Keep Off the Ice" on a lake are we to hire someone for the winter to sit there and weigh everyone on a case by case basis, because we can assume that someone might be light enough to get on it ?Get real would you ?

You have no way of knowing whether your excessive doses of vitamin c have contributed to a faster fibrosis rate. I do know that it IS POSSIBLE because the facts say so. I think you are having a hard time admitting that you have been doing something all these years that you thought was helping ,when in fact, the evidence strongly suggests the opposite is more likely. Like I said, you'll never know.

I took issue with no one first.
Your buddy was so eager to be a contrarian that he made up an untruthful header. He had to invent a header out of nothing and state it so it was in direct contradiction to my post.You came in and jumped on the bandwagon immediately just to side with him. I don't believe you read the abstract he posted for one second. Because, if you did you would have realized that there was no basis whatsoever for that untruthful header "Vitamin C improves fibrosis"
No, you wanted to be part of the action, too. Before checking out the science for yourself, you immediately jumped in and said you sided with the Gooyfydad. That means you sided with a lie. Because his header was not the truth. Now the only reason I can think of why you would support a lie would be to get in on the action. Right ? Wanted to be part of the "we'll show him" mentality ? Perhaps politely asking me for some ideas where you could find pertinent and relevant information to support the idea then perhaps you would have met with a kinder response. Instead you suggested that it wouldn't matter what I supplied as doctors and studies are always wrong.You implied that the doctor could be wrong . Yeah, the head of the transplant division, and chief hepatologist in the hospital that did the world's first liver tp doesn't know what is good for HCV patients ? And the books he writes all have footnotes and bibliography. Quite a common practice in books. You could have asked for the supporting references couldn't you ? You also implied that the studies can't be trusted. Strangely though, the study by your buddy was OK. lololol

You are so easy to see through. Now, if you want the last word, PLEASE take it. And next time, watch who you choose to disagree with, just for the sake of disagreeing. I won't be bullied by you and your pal.




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I forgot to ask you if you recall seeing Mr. liver here before very recently? Mike
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86075 tn?1238118691
I guess I got confused, won't be the first time! I thought I heard where you were diving or something?...anyway, as to that other matter, I'd rather just focus on having a nice weekend...hope you have one too....be well...
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Gee, I didn't mean to cause you additional stress by asking you such a sensitive question. Yikes, he is scary - isn't he? Mike
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Does Billy Reuben ring a bell ?
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Sport? I don't think you heard that about me. But, I'm doing and feeling well. Mike
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86075 tn?1238118691
I wonder where all these studies and trials are about vitamins, I look, but I can't find them, particularly if they are studied as much as that! And if there are soooo many people buying them, a lot of that must be repeat business, even if your making statistical judgments, if that many people are taking them, maybe something to it huh? but then I went against my promise, you tend to get hostile and I don't want to stick around for that...
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I appreciate your suggestions, but you are indeed talking to the wrong person about this. Just a FYI. I met my doctor at a seminar 8 years ago sponsored by the ALF. His presentation for that day ? Complementary and Alternative Medicine ( CAM ). He helped to set up CAM guidelines at the NIH. So, he does know quite a bit about the subject. When you take your profession seriously , you recognize the necessity to be able to answer the questions your patients ask and then advise them. The alternative medicine industry which generates 20 + billion dollars a year in sales has found its way into mainstream society more each year and as a doc you gotta keep up on this stuff. By the way, those sales are higher than the total out-of-pocket yearly medical expenses  for the entire population in the U.S. .

Vitamins are some of the most studied substances in the body. Our bodies need just a trace amount of vitamins. When you discuss vitamins you enter the nano world. We're talking  a few molecules in some cases as a total amount needed for a day. The best way to get vitamins is the old tried and true method: a good diet. With modern shipping and agricultural methods, there is no reason someone cannot have an adequate diet to supply it with what it needs year round in all but the most remote locations in the US.

Another consideration for me: I am stable and don't want to upset the apple cart with any unneeded substances. You know the old saying..If it ain't broke...

I only like to put food and non-alcoholic drinks in my system. But if I have to put something else, I want it to be tested, purified, regulated, and based on evidence obtained through the scientific process.

Yours in truth,
Mr Liver

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86075 tn?1238118691
I'm going way, way out on the limb on this, and I'll probably regret it...I can just hear the salvos coming my way with a few people who will read this, reckless irresponsiblity, among others...everyone is entitled to their opinions...but haven't you ever thought, that maybe you could go on a more aggressive vitamin/and or herbal treatment then you are presently on? If you can't do present SOC anway, cause of Auto Immune issues, etc? I mean, what do you have to lose if you monitor it properly?....

You could "titer up" take just a few things and slowly build up from almost nothing, (and 65 mg of Vitamin C is almost nothing) just a few things that "supposedly" work synergistically...consult with a well-credentialed nutritionist or other expert? Misha Cohen works with Dr. Gish in San Francisco, and gives references...if you don't go a Chinese route, then, just a few more supplements, monitored very, very closely... say, one herb like Schizandra berry and/or Milk Thistle...

I know you go to a renoun doctor, but most docs just don't know beans about these treatments, they don't learn about them in medical school, and it's not FDA sanctioned, it's just not in their sensibility, culture, etc. and there is a lot of prejudice, perhaps rightly so in some cases, I will admit....

But still and all, there aren't many doctors who really study these things or experiment with them...I mean really, what do you have to lose? And you might GAIN something, like cut down on the inflammation that the disease is subjecting your liver to, which is ultimatley a good thing, if not a huge thing...You say youre not very advanced in your liver disease, you could try this, and then closely monitor it by taking labs every few weeks, or monthly, etc...

If your alts go up appreciably, or any other untoward thing happens, just stop taking them and cut your losses, and that will be the end of it...(though some people report when they first introduce these regimens into their system, there is a temporary uptick in the alts, then they "can" go down)

I've been taking these things for years, have had this over 30 years, and my labs are excellent considering...doc told me I have lowgrade, smoldering hepatitis C and that my immune system has seemed to do an excellent job at keeping this virus down...(course I am looking at a trial to get into, I want to rid myself of the virus, and not just sustain status quo, finally)

I know many people will not attribute this to my regimen, I know many others who will agree with me though, because of their own experiences. The only time I stopped my regimen for 3 months, my alts went up, if you want to think that's a coincidence, so be it.....I think it's a lot of things, my lifestyle, diet, and my regimen, even my attitude...in the whole time I've been testing the last 7-8 years, my viral load has never gone beyond 2 hundred thousand.

I am only throwing this out in the ether, I am not going to debate this with you...I already know your feelings about this, and they are negative. I only think this is something you 'might' consider, if you wanted to, and I realize you probably won't, and you'll probably feel highly offended. Fine. I will not argue this with you. It's not about that, I dont like debating with you. I just figured, since I read that you had gotten a little more ill with this virus, that I would just throw this out there, that's all. Say what you will, I will not debate this.
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No, I do not recall that name. And I ran a quick MH search of Billy Reuben and didn't get any results. If you have been here for 7 years you've either been silent, very inactive or posted under another name. Mike
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Mr. Liver ain't me despite the rumors so why not let the guy alone with the 40 questions game and let Angie think it is me?  Does it matter?
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No, it doesn't really matter. I didn't read any speculative post that Mr. Liver is you simply because it's too much reading to read all of the posts and particularly so with the more verbose members' posts. I just got curious when he said he'd been here 7 years because I don't recall any person by that name and that's not a name I'd be likely to forget. Hope all is well with you and your family, Mike
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C52 and C60 ... this person makes it clear good old Angie thinks I am Mr. Liver.

Come on Mike.  

Tell Angie to go to the cops if she feels harassed, or give it a rest.

Better yet, when the coven gets together later Califia can tell her how to handle this.

I assume I will be gone again shortly so hi to everyone and hope all attain SVR this year.

Scott
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Go to the cops would you? I'd like to see that.

Mr. Liver just ain't me so keep guessing. I come as revenire and that's that. I don't need permission or anything else and I don't care either.

You tell your pals to leave Mr. Liver be. You're barking up the wrong tree.

Like I said: post the emails I sent you and I will post the ones you sent back.  

Don't give me these creeped out BS either. If you were creeped out you'd have called a cop or at least cried a river of fake tears.  

Just take some Paxil and move on. If Paxil doesn't work try something like Xanax or heroin. That will take the edge off and you can get over the horror of revenire.

If I want to come here I just sign up as revenire and do so. I don't need fake names so you misfits can play "find the rev".

Some of your lives are so empty, so devoid of any worth that hepatitis has become the most interesting thing about it.

BTW, any new candles?
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I didn't read either of those threads until just now - 5/28/07 12:27 AM Eastern time. What do you mean "come on" - do you think I am lying about this? You know me  better than that. The guy's name is Mr. Liver and he says he's been here for 7 years - aren't I allowed to ask him who he is? Come one Scott. Mike
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In my book, and I keep one, you are allowed to do anything.  You're a top fellow and have my respect and you always will.  It was a misunderstanding and I do apologize if you got lumped in with the more paranoid part of Med Help.  

You're a person I can call a friend and we go back a ways at this place.

Thanks for all the help over the years and best to you.

Scott
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How 'bout Al Bueman ?
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Those who seem to be overly obsessed by names will love this one. Either we are two different people, or you are posting to yourself. The more paranoid and obsessed ones will actually believe the latter.  lol
And thanks for your words. I just come by once in a blue moon to lend info and support and all of a sudden I find myself in the midst of mindless controversy over vitamin c with some paranoid delusionals who have reading comprehension disabilities. This site was much better when the docs were here.

Your in truth,
Mr Liver
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You said: "This site was much better when the docs were here."

Well, I don't remember that either and I have been here for quite a long time. Are you sure you know where you are ..... let alone who you are?

Mike
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Ha ha, I sometimes forget where I am.

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Not very long ago a few people here thought I had like 50 names and instead of being concerned about their disease the main reason they came here was to be involved in soap opera style dramas and guessing who is revenire today.  Med Help booted me like a dozen times but I am a perfect gentleman.  Ask anyone.

As I said, you seem like a fine addition to the site and if I can be so bold to offer you advice: there is a coven here that gangs up on people.  They conspire together to get people banned on specious grounds.  It is wicked and sinful.  

Some of them haven't even treated but just go to message boards. One stays the same age no matter what year it is.  

I've already said too much.  

Med Help will probably boot me when they come back from vacation, or wherever they are, so I wish you well and hope you beat this damn disease. I am a 1a, went 88 weeks, relapsed and am gearing up for round #2 and will never let this thing beat me.

My name is Scott.  But if I am talking to myself I already know that.
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Well, it would appear I have seniority over you.
Yes, this forum used to have docs. They were hepatologists from Henry Ford.
Yours in truth,
Mr Liver
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Scott,

Nice to meet you and thanks for the welcome and advice. I know of the types you refer to. I read a few days of posts before jumping in, and I spotted a few of those to whom you refer.

Yours in truth,
Mr Liver

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Indeed it appears that you do have seniority over me and I stand corrected. I think I've been here since 2002 and I don't think there were doctors at the Hepatitis side then so you do go back aways. Mike
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Don't give it another thought. I like and respect you so we can disagree or misunderstand one another on occasion - it's no big thing. Stay well, Mike
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No biggie mike. Hope you are having a fine day. I'm about to get walloped by a thunderstorm so I better get off the 'puter.

Yours in  truth,
Mr Liver
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Don't forget there's "NO MONEY in the CURE" we all are battling an inevitable progressive life threatening disease treated with drugs in the category of "lets try this one and see what happens". My spouse and I are battleing Hep C 1a with coninfection of Hep B from hemodyalisis  And knowing that Hep C treatments and post transplant medications are BIG BUSINESS for pharmaceutical companies we have little faith in them actually finding a cure in the near future. As one writer stated follow what's in your heart; your life and your liver is in your hands. I agree with being warry of products from China they are full of pesticides that your liver has to filter (causing further damage), I agree that there's not enough research and don't expect there will be why not??  again because there's NO MONEY in the CURE. Do what you feel is right for you, pray to whatever GOD you believe in (if it's about GOD it all GOOD") and live you life to the fullest. My husband is going to start antiviarl treatment soon but we are also incorporating Milk Thistle and Acai berry from Amazon Thunder and lots of prayer. What I'm saying is indulged yourself go to accupuncture, meditate, take your herbs (however do be mindful of herb to herb interactions as well as drug to herbs) if the outcome is good or less than desireable that's just the way it was supposed to be.

Wishing all of you
PEACE,LOVE, and HARMONY
         Philo
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OK I know this is an old thread but thought I would comment anyway.

The following comes from Projects in Knowledge Care and Council
Helping Patients Stay the Course on Treatment for Hepatitis C
Patients should be instructed to:
1. Maintain good nutrition, including adequate intake of niacin and vitamin C.

So are they wrong.

And the following from Liver International ISSN 1478-3223
Plasmatic vitamin C in nontreated hepatitisC patients is negatively associated with aspartate aminotransferase

Abstract
Objectives: To evaluate the possible relationship between aminotransferases levels and markers of oxidative stress in chronic hepatitis C patients.

Design and methods: Patients without treatment for hepatitis were divided in to
group I (15–39 U/L);
group II (41–76 U/L) and
group III (81–311 U/L) of activity alanine aminotransferase (ALT).

Blood markers of oxidative stress [catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), thiobarbituric acid-reactive species (TBARS), nonprotein and protein thiol (NP-SH and P-SH) groups and vitamin C] were determined. Results: P-SH and NP-SH levels, TBARS, GPx and CAT were not different between groups. Vitamin C was significantly decreased in groups II (P = 0.03) and III (P = 0.001) when compared with group I and correlated negatively with aspartate aminotransferase (AST; r =_0.29, P = 0.042).

Conclusion:
Vitamin C levels were negatively associated with AST, suggesting that vitamin C could be an additional indicator of hepatitis C severity.

Now I am no Doctor but wouldn’t the above suggest that extra VitC should be taken.
CS
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131817 tn?1209532911
I was told by many here and my Dr. not to take Milk thisle on tx. Perhaps afterwards or pre tx.....seems like this thread got off track from the original question.  There are some anti fibrotics to take during tx that may help.  Oxymatrine is one that comes to mind...If not on tx check out Gauf's profile and see HR's diet for ant fibotics. On tx, I sure wouldn't take Milk thisle. You don't want to mess with these tx drugs.  
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I know this was only done in a lab but still interesting especially point 4.
When combined with interferon alpha, both silymarin and sho-saiko-to inhibited HCV replication more than interferon alone

So maybe taking MT is not such a bad idea after all.

From http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/2007icr/aasld/docs/120407_b.html
Experimental Botanical Therapies for Hepatitis C
Silymarin and Sho-saiko-to Section

The activity of the 2 therapies was studied in the laboratory in human hepatoma liver cell lines (Huh 7 and Huh 7.5.1) infected with JFH-1, a genotype 2a strain of HCV that can replicate in vitro.
Results
1. Silymarin inhibited expression of TNF-alpha in anti-CD3 stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and NF-kappa-B dependent transcription in Huh7 cells.
2. Both silymarin and sho-saiko-to inhibited infection of Huh7 and Huh7.5.1 cells by JFH-1 virus in a dose-dependent manner.
3. Both compounds also displayed prophylactic and therapeutic effects against JFH-1 infection.
4. When combined with interferon alpha, both silymarin and sho-saiko-to inhibited HCV replication more than interferon alone.
5. The antiviral effects induced by silymarin involved both JAK-STAT pathway dependent and independent signaling.
6. Sho-saiko-to enhanced interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) transcription via p38 MAP kinase activation.
7. High performance liquid chromatography fractionation of the herbal preparations permitted identification of specific components eliciting antiviral actions.

“The data demonstrate that standardized silymarin and sho-saiko-to have antiviral action against in vitro HCV infection, and that silymarin has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory actions,” the researchers concluded. “Therefore, CAM-based approaches may assist in the management patients with chronic hepatitis C.”

CS

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I think the biggest problem that we face as far as what supplements or herbs that we should or shouldn't take while on tx is that we are asking or depending on answers from our hep doctors and MOST, if not nearly ALL, have not studied nor read anything about supplements or herbs ever. The majority of us are being treated by doctors that have studied ONLY"conventional medicine" and here we are seeking their advice on what supplements we can take while on tx:) - . My hep doc told me he is open minded and I do think he is, but an example is this year he told me that now they have found out that low level of vitamin D may effect whether or not you SVR. But I already knew that vit D effects the immune system and made sure my level was good last year before that tx started. As a matter of fact I know the story of how Dr.Cannell discovered that vitamin D boosts the immune system because I have subscribed to Dr. Julian Whitakers newsletter for many years - along with other news letters such as Dr. Williams etc. So little by little conventional doctors are comming around and seeing how some naturral foods/vitamins/herbs can help us MAYBE to achieve SVR.

The more I try to understand this disease,why people relapse, why we have non responders,,the more it makes me realize that we are in deep trouble that our doctors haven't much of a clue to how they can and should help the immune system somehow 'balance itself" through the use of natural methods PRIOR to txing. This "lets role the dice again" to see if you clear is all they do because "that's all they have." THEY (conventional doctors) are very limited in how they can help us, except to put us back on the trolley track. I am not saying this as a knock, cause I thank God that we have our doctors, and I do like my doctors though I don't agree with everything they say and I feel we have a right to question our own tx.

I just read something so well written but I dare not post it because it happens to be written by a lay person and I don't feel like hearing "he's not a doctor blah blah blah," but anyhow, this guy is so on the money IMO,, and he discusses what he has found in his own research concerning autoimmune, our bodies response - so many other things that its just too much to mention - btw also mentions the sinus problems, brain, liver etc. Its so well written though and the more I read - the things he touched on and just the way he compiled the whole thing,,, it just amazed me,, and what really amazed me is that he has said things that alot of us have touched on in our own 'trying to put the puzzle together' discussions.

But anyhow my opinion is we need more doctors like HR who has an understanding of both sides of the coin - conventional medicine and alternative because it is going to take both to find a real cure. Thats just my opinion though.

Have a good weekend everyone!
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131817 tn?1209532911
I JUST discovered my Vit D was low, really low. It could have been throughout tx. I am now on a Vit D RX once a week for several months. Perhaps this could be one of the reasons my immune system didn't support the tx....who knows?  I am glad I did find out about the Vit D. My rhemy prescribed it and said it would help my bone and joint pain. Not sure if it has, as I am on Lyrica now for that. I sure feel better!  

Linda
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Most likely IMO most heppers are low in not only Vit D, but all the other supplements that support the immune system, such as E, selenium, zinc etc.

I say this because when the immune system is trying to fight the virus, it would seem that it would be drawing on the vitamins that support the immune system and the E, selenium etc,also fights free radicals.

What was so interesting to me is that I had a zillion tests before tx and I have the report and in the report is shows that I am low in ALL the vitamins that support the immune function - though I was taking large doses.

The other thing that you have to make sure you take PLENTY of is the Probiotics cause they support immune function too. HR talks about them alot and thats probably why.

But again, in mentioning the conventional docs are behind the times, OKay, they now tell us to take vitamin D, but I have not had one conventional doc tell me to make sure I am taking probiotics especially to make sure plenty prior to tx. They just don't know all this stuff.

Though I take a lot of them, a test I had just prior to dx,showed NO lacctobacillus at all! The doc (holistic) was very surprised and so was I, cause I faithfully take them,,but then after hep dx, it all made sense to me, and even more sense now cause I may have had the guiardia back then too and so all of this was draining my immune system IMO. BTW my feeling on the protazoa was that it was always there as my PCP always says we all have para's etc,,,,,BUT I think cause I went into such a panic/shock upon hep dx, that my immune system took a nose dive and thats when I had overgrowth of paraisites/candida in my intestines. Just a theory of mine. (theory # 4,0097:)

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Just so that you are aware, Dr. Schiff in Miami does NOT have a fibroscan available at this time.  I contacted his office to inquire about getting one for myself and this is what I was told.    I'm going to start trying to save the money (even though it will take me quite awhile), to fly out to California and get HR to do one for me.

Susan400
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419309 tn?1326506891
very curious to know who your hepatologist is @ Yale.  My husband's doc is too, and he nearly hit the roof when we mentioned "alternative" treatments.
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I have been on milk thistle since diagnosed 3 yrs ago.  Gastro put me on it because I wasn't ready for tx.  I have been on tx since Aug. 07 and have continued taking the same amount everyday just like always.  No problems.  When I first went to my gastro for my diagnosis my viral load was 2 ml.  When I decided to go on tx they, of course did another vl and it was down to 480,000.  All I was taking was the milk thistle.  Now I'm on the tx and my vl has continued to drop but not at zero yet.  I'm six months in to it and hope I can find someone to give me good news about being a responder but not as quick as the Dr. wanted.
I dropped the vl on milk thistle more than I have on the tx.  On tx I started out at 480,000 and have only come down to 1500.
I wish I knew all the long term effects of staying in and fighting to zero another 3 months.  I made the decision to keep going but I'm questioning myself.  
Debbi
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I have been on milk thistle since diagnosed 3 yrs ago.  Gastro put me on it because I wasn't ready for tx.  I have been on tx since Aug. 07 and have continued taking the same amount everyday just like always.  No problems.  When I first went to my gastro for my diagnosis my viral load was 2 ml.  When I decided to go on tx they, of course did another vl and it was down to 480,000.  All I was taking was the milk thistle.  Now I'm on the tx and my vl has continued to drop but not at zero yet.  I'm six months in to it and hope I can find someone to give me good news about being a responder but not as quick as the Dr. wanted.
I dropped the vl on milk thistle more than I have on the tx.  On tx I started out at 480,000 and have only come down to 1500.
I wish I knew all the long term effects of staying in and fighting to zero another 3 months.  I made the decision to keep going but I'm questioning myself.  
Debbi
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Sorry to have to tell you this but if you are not clear by 24 weeks your chances for SVR are fairly slim less than 3% with 48 weeks tx.

You might want to consider stopping the Milk Thistle.
CS.
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