Addresses management of HCV and also addresses post-SVR symptoms that persist. Interesting read. I would like to know if anyone has tried this triple Anti-oxidant approach and what your results are - particularly post-treatment when symptoms persist.
"Summary: Antioxidants do not act as potent antivirals, but do tend to restrain HCV replication. Triple antioxidants are effective at preventing cirrhosis and cancer in CHC, and are also effective against fatigue, depression, pain, and GI disturbance (most bile-producing reactions in the liver depend on GSH and taurine is an important constituent of bile salts). Patients are most likely to respond when doses of ALA, ascorbic acid, and glutathione or its precursors can be increased on a PRN basis and when B vitamins including methylation factors [2: R. A. Van Konynenburg 2004] and essential minerals, especially selenium but also magnesium, zinc and manganese, are supplemented.
Many people who have CHC do not develop serious symptoms and stay healthy without treatment. We can hypothesize that a combination of influences may be at play in these individuals: a healthy lifestyle low in oxidative stressors such as alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, a diet low in iron, calories, saturated fats and toxic chemical additives and high in antioxidants and easily assimilable protein, and a genetic predisposition to avoid accumulation of iron and copper, and to produce higher than normal levels of endogenous antioxidants (e.g. GSH, GR, ALA, CoQ10), as well as a genetic tendency against high levels of autoimmune and inflammatory activity. To such an individual life-long infection with hepatitis C might be largely benign, and such habits and genetic tendencies might account for the variable but significant percentage of persons with CHC who never become ill.
It seems it is not always essential to clear the virus to control or eliminate the symptoms of CHC, and in any case viral clearance by chemotherapeutic intervention is not always possible. In developed countries most people with CHC are IVDU, and in Australia, for example, 95% of IVDU will not access combination therapy (interferon plus Ribavirin). In most of these cases antivirals will be medically contraindicated for these individuals due to alcohol or intravenous drug use, mood disorders, autoimmune syndromes etc. It may be thought possible to manage these symptoms in some cases, but this means accepting an increased risk of unwanted outcomes. In any case, antivirals are only effective in approximately half of cases, they are often blamed for causing lasting health problems, and have unpleasant side effects that can seem counterproductive, leading to patients dropping out of treatment. Viral clearance, both spontaneous and chemotherapeutic, is associated with a decreased rate of cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer, but on long term follow up the other, extrahepatic symptoms of hepatitis C can persist: fatigue, depression, upper right quadrant pain, arthralgia (joint pain) and autoimmune disease have been seen at the same rates, for example nine years after spontaneous clearance, and the picture after chemotherapeutic clearance is often worse, due to the longer period of infection pre-clearance and the effects of the antivirals. Thus antioxidants may be of value to anyone who has ever had Hepatitis C and is in less than perfect health as a result."
"Because the extra-hepatic HCV syndromes tend to persist even after the desired SVR result of combination therapy, there is a need for antioxidants to be used by these patients, as well as in the conservative management of hepatitis C. For the patient the disease does not end when the virus dies, but when their health is restored to normal. There is no reason to accept continued disability or discomfort due to a past or current infection with HCV when this safe, cheap and convenient treatment yields such a high rate of improvement. “If it’s so good why doesn’t everyone use it?” is the standard question at this juncture, to which the response is two-fold; one, they do: many thousands of HCV sufferers are already using antioxidants. And two: although antioxidant treatment of CHC is safe, convenient, effective, and relatively cheap it is not simple. It is not a one-pill, magic bullet fix. To apply it properly in a given case can take some understanding of antioxidant metabolism, which can be gained by reading, and some awareness of one’s own antioxidant status, which depends on the ability to analyze one’s diet, or on diagnostic tests that, apart from iron levels, are not part of everyday medical practice in N.Z. Many people imagine that antioxidant treatment of Hep C requires the co-operation of a doctor, and if their doctor fobs them off they do nothing, or make a half-hearted attempt, for example taking silymarin or selenium but nothing else, and stopping once there is no further improvement."