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1717054 tn?1316712653

Milk Thistle benefits

http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2008/08/hep_c_quality_o.html

FYI....This link  from Hepatitis C Central explains the advantages of taking Milk Thistle for anyone with Hep C, including taking it during treatment.  I just wanted to pass this on if any of you are currently NOT taking this supplement.  I have been taking this for years and am convinced that it has helped me.
I hope this helps someone out there!
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Avatar universal
thanks for posting the link

i believe willing was talking a while back about legalon-sil which is an intravenous preparation of milk thistle.   i think he might have been suggesting it might be useful for those of us that did not get SVR with the current SOC including those of us that fail with the new PIs.  so i did a quick google search.

i was interested to read that legalon-sil reduces core and NS5A proteins in vitro in this article.  looks like it would be a great adjunct to the PIs
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072633/

here is another article that shows a remarkable decline in HCV RNA following dosing with legalon-sil in a single transplant patient.
http://www.natap.org/2011/HCV/021611_06.htm

unfortunately we cannot use this in the US for hepatitis although the FDA does allow special use for mushroom poisoning.

Helpful - 0
29837 tn?1414534648
Although both my GI and Hepatologist say there's no real proof of benefits, they also said "it can't hurt". In Europe, they've been taking it for many years and believe in its benefits. I've been taking it for about 6 years on a daily basis at 1000mg.

Magnum
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Mag, are you taking milk thistle during treatment?  i have read posts from folks that said their doc told them not to take milk thistle on treatment, although i really don't understand the rational for stopping.
eric
Helpful - 0
29837 tn?1414534648
Funny you should mention that. Just the other day I was thinking that in Aug., when I start my triple therapy, I wanted to ask him if I should keep taking supplements.

What are they???  Milk Thistle = 1000mg daily. Vitamin C = 500mg. daily. Alpha Lipoic Acid 200mg = 3 times weekly. Vitamin D-3 = 2000mg. daily. Pure Alaskan Fish Oil with Omega-3 = 1000mg. daily. Multiple Vitamins (minus iron) = once daily.

In my opinion, I would like to stop after being cured, with the exception of the multi-vitamins. Let me add that the Gastro recommended the Alpha Lipoic Acid (which Hep C robs the body of) and the Fish Oil (which is supposed to suppress Fatty Liver). As the shards of Hep C intrude into a healthy liver, another thing to remember is diet. I eliminated fast foods, salt, sugar, fats, meat, any shell fish (oysters, mussels, shrimp, lobsters, clams, etc.) due to the potential mercury poisoning and other polluters in the ocean and last but not least, ex-girlfriends...

Magnum
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
ex-girlfriends - thanks for the laugh my friend.

it is tempting to think that milk thistle might have a synergistic effect with the PI since the link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072633/  states that it reduces NS5A proteins. but that study used legalon sil, an intravenous preparation.  with our puny little oral does we probably cannot get serum levels close to an IV dose.  

in the link elpasolady posted from the HaltC study, quality of life seemed to improve with those taking milk thistle. but of course you wonder about what else the study participants were doing. maybe avoiding ex-girlfriends.

time to go watch fireworks.
may we all get independence from HCV
eric
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yes they have been using it in Europe for years. Actually the best milk thistle you can get is certified from Europe. Life extension sells it.
Helpful - 0
979080 tn?1323433639
In Europe they conducted trials with MT and it did not show any effect against HCV when taken orally so far. There is still a trial going on where they upped the dosage but so far that does
not look very promising.
Taken by IV (legalon-sil) on the other hand was very effective in reducing viral load at least
temporarily. It acts like a natural PI. Under the right circumstances legalon-sil is promising
problem is it is very expensive , requires weeks of clinic stay , ea infusion is several hours,
only approved in Austria so far  for proven previous non-responders.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I was told that I should take MT over 6 months ago. I buy a concentrated extract 1000mg from WallyWorld. It suggests one, two to four times daily, I've just been taking 3 at a time once a day. Over a 4 month period my VL did not drop, it increased by 1.5mil.+. I have to wonder if it does anything really, perhaps it may help preventing more liver damage?
Helpful - 0
1717054 tn?1316712653
My Gastro told me i should definitely keep taking my supplements during treatment, which include Milk Thistle as well as the Alpha R Lipoic Acid. My personal criteria is that I research the company making these supplements and get the purest, best quality product I can buy. They are NOT all made equally, the same as the vitamins we take. Many may not be familiar with the Alpha R Lipoic Acid so I posted below the benefits.....

The Alpha R Lipoic Acid is described as follows:

Alpha R-Lipoic Acid benefits.....
Universal Antioxidant - Both water and fat soluble
Regenerates Antioxidants
Boosts Glutathione
Supports Normal Liver Enzymes Levels
Powerful Scavenger of Dangerous Free Radicals
Increases Energy
Anti-Aging
Strengthens Memory & Supports Healthy Brain Function

Glutathione is the important factor here. It is composed of three amino acids ( glutamine, cysteine, and glycine)  It is considered to be the body's  master antioxidant, which is why it is so important for your liver.  Many physicians would consider glutathione to be the single most important nutrient for proper liver health and promote cellular health.  I suggest you do research on it if you are interested. You can also get Glutathione from foods such as watermelon, grapefruit,strawberries, oranges, cantalope, peaches, avocadoes, asparagus, potatoes, acorn squash, tomatoes, broccoli, okra, zucchini and spinach.

My feeling is that my body needs all the help it can get to get better and as long as these supplements are not harmful, I'm all over them!

Here is a link containing an article  from Hepatits- Central talking about glutathione.

http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2007/07/hcv_and_the_bod.html
Helpful - 0
979080 tn?1323433639
"perhaps it may help preventing more liver damage?"

When you read the results from HALT-C you will see
it did NOT reduce ALT which is a marker for hepatocellular
damage.Makes you wonder if the results of that study regarding
MT are not just one giant placebo effect.
BTW, nothing wrong with a good placebo effect.
Helpful - 0
1491755 tn?1333201362
From the article;

When comparing silymarin users to non-silymarin users in the HALT-C trial, the following was discovered:

1. No beneficial effect of silymarin was found on ALT levels (serum alanine aminotransferases) – an enzyme often elevated with liver injury.

2. No beneficial effect of silymarin was found on Hepatitis C virus RNA levels.


Quality of life improvements are psychosomatic .......imho
Helpful - 0
1717054 tn?1316712653
There will be more studies and debates on this subject, now and in the future, for sure!
In my personal experience, however, once I started taking Milk Thistle several years ago, my ALT and AST levels have been in the normal range, with the exception of one time.  Prior to Milk Thistle, they were always above the normal range, albeit not by alot. My VL, however, has risen over the years.  In 2006, it was just over 2 mil and now it is 7mil.

So, in IMHO, I don't see any harm in taking these supplements.  Even though they are not a cure for hep c, I will NOT say they don't help our livers in some way, shape or form, especially before our livers suffer severe damage? How will we ever know if we would be worse off if we had never taken them? For ME, it is a no brainer.
All the best !
Helpful - 0
1717054 tn?1316712653
Also, the main reason I posted this was because of the benefits of taking Silymarin ( Milk Thistle) during treatment, not that it would replace treatment. What James did not post were the findings right under the two he listed, which are as follows...The last paragraph is important!!

3. Those on silymarin showed significantly fewer liver-related symptoms than non-users.

4. Those on silymarin scored higher on quality-of-life parameters than non-users.

5. After adjusting for age, race, education, alcohol consumption, exercise, body mass index and smoking, silymarin users showed significantly LESS  fatigue, nausea, liver pain, anorexia, muscle and joint pain, and improvements in general health over non-users.

Confirming that silymarin has little direct effect on the Hepatitis C virus, the qualitative values generally used to evaluate virus severity were similar in silymarin users and non-users.

However, there were other observable benefits to the silymarin users. By reducing the severity of common Hepatitis C symptoms and interferon side effects, silymarin use demonstrated an obvious advantage to people managing this virus.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal

The use of MT has been discussed here many times....The experienced Hepa I asked  if MT was useful or useless when treating...said    "We Don"t Know"

For what it"s worth .I have taken 1000mg/ day  for many years ..however stopped when on tx.

Will



Helpful - 0
1491755 tn?1333201362
Right like I said it's psychosomatic.  The "real" numbers say it doesn't help.  The subjective questions say it does.

To each there own, the goal is SVR and for that ML does nothing.  But if it makes you happy by all means take it!
Helpful - 0
1491755 tn?1333201362
As there is no edit feature I have to add this post.

Nicole Cutler I'd not a doctor, and I'm fairly suspicious of anything she writes, seems to be motivated by the ads on here site.  Why doesn't she just post a link to the study ?

Here's what HALT- C actually said, scroll down to page 4ish.  They say exactly what my doc (Everson google him) who does HALT-C studies said.  Problem is you don't what is in those capsules, because there are no regulations of the supplement industry.

http://www.haltctrial.org/newsletter/Jan2007newsletter.pdf
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My dr suggested mt with vitamin e. He said it would not cure yep c but would. Slow progression of disesase aj7538

Helpful - 0
901131 tn?1293744553
I've been taking it for over 9 years now with a few others. My GI at the begining had just said it wouldn't hurt but now after all these years and my lab reports he is now suggesting MT to other patients. He truley believes it has helped manage my AST/ALT in the normal levels. I KNOW it has. I also take Sam-e, R-liopic acid,Nac,Vitamin E,Selenium,Glutathione,B12, and D.I believe it is definitely helping and don't really care what the skeptics have to say.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
thanks for the info on Rliopic acid...i'll look into it....i do eat alot of kal nutr. yeast  which has a lot of ammino acids...but i'm with you on the mt ..i take mt and other supp.  and when i go off them i'm back to being sick 4-5 days a month completely bedridden...mt works for me...extract and 1200mg caps...good health to you
Helpful - 0
1717054 tn?1316712653
@boobert...Are you saying that you take a supplement that is solely gluthathione?  If so, where do you get it from?  The reason I take the lipoic acid is really only for the glutathione.

@kutza4 ... You are welcome.  good health to you TOO!
Helpful - 0
29837 tn?1414534648
An interesting change appeared in all four (quarterly) blood works taken over the past year, the ALT and AST have been consistently lower than in the previous 9 years. Why? Good question. What have I done different than the Milk Thistle I've been taking for 6 years? Grapefruit Juice... I buy the Simply Grapefruit at Wal-Mart and drink a glass a day. I understand it has great benefits from the statement below. Keep in mind both ALT and AST were over 100 in every blood work for the past 9 years, with the exception of the past (10th) year. Now, they have been as low as 58 & 82 respectively. Could this statement below be the catalyst?

"Since HCV does not integrate its genetic material into the DNA of infected cells the way HIV does, totally clearing the virus is possible if new cells were not being infected. Therefore, interfering with the transport of HCV out of cells holds a great deal of therapeutic promise.

Scientists found that by blocking vLDL with a compound in grapefruit, Hepatitis C lost its vehicle and thus was stopped from expansion. Grapefruit's bitter taste is caused by the presence of the flavonoid naringin, which is metabolized into naringenin, an antioxidant known to reduce the secretion of vLDL from liver cells. The Massachusetts investigators confirmed that naringenin reduces the secretion of Hepatitis C from infected cells".

Another Grapefruit Advantage

Although focusing on a different component of the grapefruit, previous research supports the hepatic potential of grapefruit. Phytonutrients in grapefruit, called limonoids, inhibit tumor formation by promoting the formation of glutathione-S-transferase, a detoxifying enzyme. This enzyme sparks a reaction in the liver that helps to make toxic compounds more water soluble for excretion from the body.

Since those with chronic Hepatitis C are at a greater risk for developing cancer of the liver, inhibiting tumor formation is especially important. By helping the liver clear out cancer-causing toxins, limonoids’ promotion of detoxification enzymes is a simple way to ward off the development of cancer”...

There are cautions about grapefruit and certain medicines. This is the ONLY thing I’ve added to my supplement regiment in the past year or more. Could this be the catalyst for keeping my ALT and AST below 100 in every blood work? What else?

Read it all here: http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2008/02/what_you_need_t.html

Magnum
Helpful - 0
901131 tn?1293744553
Jarrow fomulas 500mg Glutathine
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Avatar universal
What brands are you using in your supplement regimen?
Helpful - 0
179856 tn?1333547362
I'm pretty sure Dr. J said not to take it and he was the lead investigator of HALT-C - but not to take it during treatment. And I know years ago we were told no grapefruit - look how things change........
Helpful - 0
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