Vitamin D Boosts Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver caused by the spherical, enveloped single-strand RNA virus. The World Health Organization estimated 170 million individuals worldwide are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the U.S., HCV accounts for 20% of all cases of acute (severe and of short duration) hepatitis, an estimated 30,000 new acute infections, and 8000 to 10,000 deaths annually. Chronic (long term) hepatitis C is predominately transmitted by percutaneous (through the skin) exposure to infected blood.

The treatment with most promising results is a combination of pegylated interferon alfa (Pegasys, PEG-Intron) and the antiviral drug, ribavirin (Vitrazole). Interferon alfa is a protein which the human body produces naturally as a defense response to viral infections. Pegylation describes a chemical process that makes the interferon last longer in the body. Interferon increases the potency of ribavirin in the treatment of HCV.

Adding a daily dose of Vitamin D to the regimen of pegylated interferon-alfa 2 and ribavirin might increase the response rates, according to an abstract which was presented at the Liver Meeting 2009, the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Association of the Study of Liver Disease. "This preliminary study confirms the benefit of adding Vitamin D to conventional antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C". states lead investigator, Saif M. Abu-Mouch, MD, from the Department of Hepatology, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Israel. (1)

In the study, 58 patients, the control group, who were diagnosed with HCV, were randomly assigned to the protocol of peginterferon-alfa 2b 1.5 ug/kg once per week and ribavirin 1000 to 2000 mg daily. Thirty-one patients received the same treatment plus Vitamin D 1000 to 4000 IU daily. By the fourth week of treatment, a rapid virological (pertaining to viruses) response was seen in 44% of the patients who received Vitamin D and in 18% of the control group. At the twelfth week of treatment, 96% of the group who received the addition of Vitamin D and 48% of the control group were HCV RNA negative.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I'm a liver transplant recipient with recurrent HCV. Doctor approved Vitamin D daily dose of 2k i.u. bid. Hoping to get the same results as the study...

By the way, Doctors have now realized that coffee consumption (up to 4 cups/day) is GOOD for your liver,

December 30, 2009 - 2:07pm
EmpowHER Guest

Isn't it interesting that for years "experts" had been telling those with Hep C not to take Vitamin D?

December 30, 2009 - 6:36am
EmpowHER Guest

Coktail of vitamin ,but interferon is same trattament of care hepatitis C ,now for future of new generation stop with interferon and ribavirina who commonly observed side effects included anemia, fatigue, headache, nausea, insomnia and depression.

Stop with origin drug of interferon .

New Era with sport /natural food /a lot of fruit ,for care of person with hepatitis C remove all food with
sugar ,stop with alcol and coffee ,sigaret .You can quite with yoga in the morning or in the night .

November 29, 2009 - 8:07am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

you must dream - the fatigue that people has that have HepC for many years are not treatable with yoga and food.

That is why the -hard- treatment as Ribavirin exists, even if it is hard treatments some numbers are
good when it comes to cure, not all - but some.

December 29, 2009 - 12:44pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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