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Stevia/curcumin, INTERESTING

Herbal Product Stevioside Inhibits HCV Replication and Curcumin Suppresses Fibrogenic Cell Activity in Laboratory Studies
Last updated:26June2008

By Liz Highleyman hivandhepatitis.com

Given the suboptimal response rate and difficult side effects associated with standard interferon-based therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, many patients have used various alternative and complementary therapies, and researchers have assessed several such agents in laboratory and clinical studies.

At the Digestive Disease Week 2008 conference last month in San Diego, researchers reported on 2 plant-derived therapies that may have the potential to inhibit HCV and improve liver fibrosis.

In the first study, Kazuhisa Yuasa and colleagues assessed the in vitro anti-HCV activity of stevioside, an agent derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant that is used as a natural non-caloric sweetener.

Stevioside has been reported to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as an antiviral effect on rotavirus. According to background information provided the investigators, some chronic hepatitis C patients who regularly use stevioside have exhibited decreased HCV RNA or undetectable viral load in the absence of interferon-based therapy.

In the present study, the researchers evaluated the antiviral effect of stevioside on HCV replication using HCV replicon systems. They used ORN/C-5B/KE cells supporting genome-length HCV RNA encoding the luciferase reporter gene, and O cells replicating the genome-length HCV RNA in a real-time transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis.

Both cell systems were exposed to several concentrations of sterilized stevioside. The investigators assessed cytotoxicity, effect on signal transduction pathways, and anti-HCV activity (with and without interferon).

• A diluted solution of stevioside demonstrated no cytotoxicites to either ORN/C-5B/KE cells or O cells.
• In both replicon systems, diluted stevioside suppressed HCV RNA in a dose-dependent manner.
• A 1000 times diluted stevioside solution inhibited HCV replication by about 30%.
• The same solution activated interferon-stimulated response element and 2-5A synthesizing enzyme gene promoter, but not the NF-kappa-?B gene promoter.
• Exposure to stevioside and interferon in combination produced an additive, but not a synergistic antiviral effect.

"We showed [the] anti-HCV effect of stevioside and the additive anti-HCV effect by combination of stevioside with interferon in vitro, and the activation of interferon signal was considered as one of the mechanism[s]," the investigators stated.

Thus, they concluded that, "stevioside is a possible antiviral agent for hepatitis C virus infection," and they plan to conduct a pilot study of the safety and efficacy of stevioside therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Looking at another herbal therapy, Anping Chen and colleagues presented 3 laboratory studies assessing at the effect of curcumin on hepatic stellate cells.

Curcumin is the main component of the curry spice turmeric, derived from the Curcuma longa plant. Prior research indicates that it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties. Hepatic stellate cells produce extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen that are responsible for liver fibrosis.

In the first study, the investigators found that curcumin promotes peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) gene expression and suppresses expression of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol receptor gene, which in turn lowers the level of intracellular cholesterol and thereby reduces the stimulatory effect of LDL on hepatic stellate cell activation.

In the second study, the researchers demonstrated that curcumin diminished the activating effect of oxidized LDL on stellate cells by suppressing LOX-1 gene expression, again via PPAR-gamma activation. Conversely, pre-treating the cells with a PPAR-gamma antagonist (PD68235) eliminated the inhibitory effect of curcumin.

Finally, the investigators showed that by increasing oxidative stress, insulin stimulates hepatic stellate cell proliferation and collagen production. But curcumin suppressed insulin-induced stellate cell activation by interrupting the insulin signaling pathway and reducing oxidative stress, via the same PPAR-gamma mechanism.

Hyperlipidemia (elevated blood lipid levels), obesity, and insulin resistance are features of the metabolic syndrome, which is associated with liver steatosis (accumulation of fat in hepatocytes). Steatosis is linked to fibrosis in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as those with chronic hepatitis C. Further, steatosis and insulin resistance are factors associated with poor response to interferon-based anti-HCV therapy.

The results of these laboratory studies suggest that curcumin or related agents that work by a similar mechanism might reduce fibrosis associated with hyperlipidemia or insulin resistance in individuals with or without hepatitis C.



K Yuasa, K Sato, A Naganuma, and others. Stevioside as a possible antiviral agent for hepatitis C virus infection. Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2008. San Diego, CA. May 17-22, 2008. Abstract S1943.

Q Kang and A Chen. Curcumin suppresses LDL receptor gene expression, leading to the inhibition of cholesterol/LDL-induced hepatic stellate cell activation. Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2008. San Diego, CA. May 17-22, 2008. Abstract S1584.

87 Responses
144210 tn?1273092382
excellent info!  I have great hope that these supplements when added to soc will greatly increase svr rates. Thank you for this.
476246 tn?1418874514
Thinking that I have two bottles of liquid dark stevia sitting in my cupboard. I don't use it that often, because it is way too sweet. I prefer not to use a little agave nectar.

I did not know that it could be used for hep c. How should it be used and how much, that is the question now.  Gauf??? I'm sure you will come with a strategy in no time... Please let us know what you find out.

To its other uses...

I've used it on infected wounds and it heals up an infection in no time. We had a musician friend come visit from Mali and he had hurt himself before coming and had this nasty infected sore on his heal and was limping. I put the Stevia on him and he almost killed me, it hurt so much. The next morning he was already better and actually asked for more. He walked normal after three days and the wound was totally healed up after 10 days.

Just thinking, maybe one could use it on mouth sores on tx. It stings like hell, but heals fast.

Avatar universal
check this out--start Alinia predose 7/6 -starting today I'll start loading the grapefruit, 3-4 a day, sip GF juice all day, sweetened with a fair ammount of stevia! (not taking anything that GF would bother) Give the little devils a wake up call. A softening up if you will. I'l also switch my sweetener from agave to stevia thru out tx. Save the oxymatrine and lactoferren for the sub-UNDies. jerry
Avatar universal

top off with Lovastatin 20mg qd and have a great day :))
29837 tn?1414538248
Look into what is rated to be the highest source of anti-oxidants of all, pomegranate juice. You must be sure it's pure. Lander's makes one available at Costco. I drink a small glass every day and the Gastro said he advises it. Careful not to drink too much, as some studies show excessive amounts may affect the kidneys. Just like anything else, do it in moderation. I also take a daily dose of 1000mg of Concentrated Extract Milk Thistle by Rexall, available at Wal-Mart. Sam-E proved not to really benefit the liver, so I stopped that after several years.

475300 tn?1312426726
the conversation about stevia is very interesting to me as I have been seriously thinking about using it in my coffee instead of sugar, can't do the coffee with out the sweetner.  I never knew it had antiviral properties let alone healing abilities.  learn something new every day.

Avatar universal
I'd exercise some caution here.  For years stevia has been pushed by the medical quack community in an effort to disparage artificial sweeteners, which makes me rather suspicious of anybody who advocates its use.  It is illegal in both the US and Europe to use stevia as a food additive, primarily because of its carcinogenic properties.  If I were considering using it, I would do LOTS of research before putting it in my mouth.
Avatar universal
I have been taking Stevia in my teas and its excellent as a mouth wash...i also been taking Turmeric morning and night.....added to a glass of orange juice and its amazily delcious.
476246 tn?1418874514
I must terribly disagree with you. Stevia has nothing to do with quackery. I strongly believe that the reasons for Stevia not having been approved as a sweetener, is due to that the artificial sweetener industry is a huge profitable industry all over the world and it has been threatened by Stevia.  Aspartame has been approved and has been proven to be potentially dangerous. So that speaks for itself.

In Japan Stevia is being used in many commercial foods instead of sugar. Japan has not involved themselves in this political game and has been researching it's safety long ago.

Here is some info on the political issue.


Political controversy

The stevia plant may be grown legally in most countries, although some countries restrict or ban its use as a sweetener.
In 1991, at the request of an anonymous complaint, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeled stevia as an "unsafe food additive" and restricted its import. The FDA's stated reason was "toxicological information on stevia is inadequate to demonstrate its safety."[36] This ruling was controversial, as stevia proponents pointed out that this designation violated the FDA's own guidelines under which any natural substance used prior to 1958 with no reported adverse effects should be generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
Stevia occurs naturally, requiring no patent to produce it. As a consequence, since the import ban in 1991, marketers and consumers of stevia have shared a belief that the FDA acted in response to industry pressure.[13] Arizona congressman Jon Kyl, for example, called the FDA action against stevia "a restraint of trade to benefit the artificial sweetener industry."[37] Citing privacy issues, the FDA has not revealed the source of the original complaint in its responses to requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act.[13]
The FDA requires proof of safety before recognizing a food additive as safe. A similar burden of proof is required for the FDA to ban a substance or label it unsafe. Nevertheless, stevia remained banned until after the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act forced the FDA in 1995 to revise its stance to permit stevia to be used as a dietary supplement, although not as a food additive — a position that stevia proponents regard as contradictory because it simultaneously labels stevia as safe and unsafe, depending on how it is sold.[38]
Although unresolved questions remain concerning whether metabolic processes can produce a mutagen from stevia in animals, let alone in humans, the early studies nevertheless prompted the European Commission to ban stevia's use in food in the European Union pending further research.[14] Singapore and Hong Kong have banned it also.[15] However, more recent data compiled in the safety evaluation released by the World Health Organization in 2006[33] suggest that these policies may be obsolete.
476246 tn?1418874514
I have gotten so used to drinking my herbal teas plain, that even a drop of Stevia tastes too sweet. My husband is a musician and singer and when he has been gigging days in a row, he uses the Stevia and it calms his throat.

It is actually really good for oral hygiene, as it inhibits the development of plaque and may actually help prevent cavities. This is backed by research.


Avatar universal
I quite agree with the use of it...I've been using it for years because I'd developed insulin resistance and was headed down the path to becoming diabetic. I knew before most about aspartame breaking down into a formaldehyde-like compound (it breaks down at 98' F...Hmmmm Isn't our normal body temp 98.6 F?!?) the stevia is derived naturally from the "sweetleaf plant" (aka Stevia) and a tiny bit goes a long way...I get it in granular as well as liquid form, and have been able to incorporate it into my cooking...I'm happy to say, I'm no longer insulin resistant, and no signs of diabetes...
On a side note about quackery...When my daughter was born, we elected to hold off on immunizing her, as thimiserol (mercury)-free vaccines weren't available as yet. There was a strong link between SIDS,autism, and childhood vaccinations preserved with it. My husband and I were ridiculed and harassed for our stand...Now, 10 years later, the vaccination companies have finally admitted, there IS a link, and have removed this preservative from the injections...Once again, a huge money-maker, with a suppressed
and potentially damaging side effect that, until the distributor was pinned into a corner with 15(+) years of documentation, they kept pushing the "quackery" label on those that claimed their children had been harmed by their product....~Melinda
Avatar universal
Those so called "Quackery Sites" are in cohots with  big pharma ,they alays make out rages claims that herbs and spices will either kill you or make your prostate the size of a baseball...ignore them..and believe ,...those sites do exist...again...its all about money...greedy bastards.
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