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Vitamin D Has Benefits in Chronic HCV Infection

Vitamin D Has Benefits in Chronic HCV Infection

November 5, 2009 (Boston, Massachusetts) — Supplementing pegylated interferon-alfa2b and ribavirin with a daily dose of vitamin D might increase virologic response rates, according to results of a late-breaking abstract reported here at The Liver Meeting 2009, the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

"Vitamin D is a potent immunomodulator whose impact on virologic response rates of interferon-based treatment of chronic HCV [hepatitis C] is unknown," lead investigator Saif M. Abu-Mouch, MD, from the Department of Hepatology, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, in Hadera, Israel, and colleagues note in their abstract.

"This preliminary study confirms the benefit of adding vitamin D to conventional antiviral therapy in patients with chronic HCV," Dr. Abu-Mouch told meeting attendees.

In the study, 58 patients with confirmed chronic HCV (genotype 1) were randomly assigned to peginterferon-alfa2b (1.5 µg/kg once weekly) plus ribavirin (1000 to 2000 mg/day). Thirty-one patients also received vitamin D (1000 to 4000 IU/day; serum level >32 ng/mL).

The vitamin D group had a higher mean body mass index (27 vs 24 kg/m2; P < .01), viral load (68% vs 58%; P  F2, 55% vs 18%; P < .001) than the group that did not receive vitamin D. Demographics, disease characteristics, ethnicity, baseline biochemical parameters, and adherence to treatment were similar in the 2 study groups.

A rapid virologic response was seen at week 4 in 44% of the vitamin D group and in 18% of the control group. At week 12, Dr. Abu-Mouch told Medscape Gastroenterology, 96% of the vitamin D group (26 of 27 patients) were HCV RNA-negative, as assessed by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, as was 48% of the control group (15 of 31 patients), which was a significant difference (P < .001), he said.

The combination of peginterferon and ribavirin, the standard of care for chronic HCV, achieves a sustained virologic response in 40% to 50% of naïve patients with genotype 1, the investigators explain in a meeting abstract. Vitamin D in combination with peginterferon-ribavirin "may have synergistic effects," Dr. Abu-Mouch said.

Meeting attendee Laurent Tsakiris, MD, from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Melun in France, who was not involved in the study, told Medscape Gastroenterology that "the study is surprising and promising because vitamin D is something very easy to use and there is no toxicity."

"It's also interesting," he said, "that the group treated with vitamin D had more severe disease than the control group. I think this can be considered a strong result from a small study.

The study did not receive commercial support. Dr. Abu-Mouch and Dr. Tsakiris have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

The Liver Meeting 2009: 60th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD): Abstract LB20. Presented November 2, 2009.

See: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/711902?sssdmh=dm1.553076&src=nldne&uac=39980BG

53 Responses
179856 tn?1333550962
That would be awesome cause it so easy to get and needs no prescription.  It's not going to hurt you so why not add it in anyway right?
Avatar universal
I take it and I'm clear. I read so many good things about Vitamin D. I found this interesting and, like you said, it can't hurt.
Avatar universal
That's interesting.  Coincidentally, I took at least 1200 of vitamin D every day through supplements during my TX.  My Endocrinologist told me to take 600 calcium plus 400 D twice a day, which I did, and I also took a multi vit that had, I think, 400 D a day.  I was UND at week 4 (geno 1b).  

The endo told me to take those amounts of calcium and D because of my specific health issues (thyroid and surgical menopause) to avoid bone loss.
Avatar universal
The Miracle of Vitamin D

(Do not attempt to obtain large amounts of vitamin D from cod liver oil alone, as this would supply vitamin A in excessive and possibly toxic amounts.)

476246 tn?1418874514
This is great news. Thanks for posting this Mike!

It seems that Vitamin D is being talked about immensely by the medical community at this time. Deficiency accounts for a lot of ailments. I took quite a lot during tx and still am. I asked my GP to check my vit d and then my hepa. It was too low to start with.They monitored it all the way through treatment.  If you have low vit D, it takes several months to build up the levels in your blood. The other problem is that the 'normal' is not the 'optimal'.
388154 tn?1306365291
Terrific news for those who are about or already treating .

But Mike why didn´t you post this on the other side, not to late to do that  also I think!!

I mean geno 1 and so many RVR and we all know RVR is the best prediction for SVR!!
Really sounds promising everybody ought to read this thx for posting!!


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