Hepatitis C Alternative Medicine Treatment Options


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Blueberry Leaves Can Help Fight Against Hepatitis C,
According to a New Study.

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease resulting from infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and spread mainly through direct contact with infected blood. The immune system is able to clear the Hepatitis C Virus in about 15% of those who contract HCV. However, once it is established in the body, chronic hepatitis C infection may progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis and/or liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).

A recent chemical discovery in blueberry leaves may help kill the Hepatitis C virus. The study, published August 7, 2009 in the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's Journal of Biochemistry (PMID: 19531480) by researchers Hiroaki Kataoka and colleagues at the University of Miyazaki, may open a new avenue for treating chronic hepatitis C infections. This is significant because standard western medicine treatment for Hepatitis C is not effective for everyone and can produce very severe, debilitating side effects.

According to scientist Hiroaki Kataoka and colleagues, a chemical found in rabbit-eye blueberry, found in the southeastern regions of the US, strongly suppressed replication of the hepatitis C virus. The blueberry leaf-derived viral replication inhibitor was found to be proanthocyanidin.

Proanthocyanidins are actually very powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects. Proanthocyanidins have multiple antioxidant functions inactivating MANY precursors to free radicals. Proanthocyanidins can also neutralize several other harmful cellular substances including iron which is important to those with Hepatitis C who may have iron overload. Proanthocyandin can be toxic, but the scientists found that the chemical found in blueberry leaves and other plants stopped replication of the hepatitis C virus at 100 times less than levels that would harm.

The proanthocyandin chemical found in blueberry leaves actually blocks the replication of the hepatitis C virus, shutting it down. This finding could open up a new and natural avenue for treating chronic HCV infections. Purifying the chemical compound proanthocyandin, found in rabbit-eye blueberry leaves could provide a safe and effective supplement to help fight hepatitis C. These researchers plan to follow up with further studies.

In the meantime, lifestyle factors that can help halt the progression of hepatitis C include avoiding alcohol, rest, a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoidance of medications that are broken down by the liver for excretion( such as acetaminophen and cholesterol lowering drugs.) Until the blueberry leaf extracts of proanthocyanidins are on the market, you can include cranberries, hazelnuts, red kidney beans, and sorghum into your diet as they are all naturally high in proanthocyandin.

Fight the Hepatitis C Dragon

The only source I have found so far-
Blueberry Extract containg 45% Proanthocyanidin,
270 mg.
120 capsules
60 capsules for $21.99