Hepatitis - Long Term Support For Your Liver
Hepatitis B and C are viral infections which, at the very least, cause inflammation of the liver.
Many patients, initially, are blissfully unaware they have contracted the virus and it isn’t until further down the track, the virus has caused chronic inflammation of the liver; or worse. The new anti-viral drugs; even though it is still early days, are having some encouraging results, bringing new hope to many sufferers, and depending on each individual case, I recommend their use to help reduce or eliminate the viral load from the blood. But, I am often asked “What can I do to heal and protect my liver in the long term?”
For patients with chronic viral infections of the liver, there have been excellent results achieved by following a nutritional program. This can directly assist by reducing damage to the liver, protecting liver cells and generally supporting healthy function of the liver. For the best possible outcome though, it would be important to begin the program as early as you can and to continue on it for the long-term.
Increase your intake of antioxidants
This will help to reduce damage to liver cells caused by the hepatitis viruses.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin which helps prevent the creation of free radicals, which cause cell injury and disease. It also protects other vitamins such as vitamins A and E from oxidating. Ascorbic acid is also a detoxifier and can reduce the side effects from some pharmaceutical drugs and heavy metals. It has been shown to stimulate the immune system into fighting bacterial and viral infections. High doses of ascorbic acid are needed to be effective against resistant viruses, however. Oral vitamin C can be taken until ‘bowel tolerance’ or diarrhoea is achieved, then the dose is cut back until the bowel is more comfortable. Recommended oral dose 1000 mg twice per day.
- Selenium (selenomethionine) – Clinical studies have shown selenium to reduce the incidence of liver cancer and should be taken daily by those with chronic hepatitis C and B. Recommended dose 150-300 mcg per day.
- Natural Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) – This antioxidant is helpful in softening any existing scar tissue which improves blood flow to the liver, and is essential for the regeneration of liver cells. Vitamin E assists in the maintenance of high levels of glutathione, which is the most powerful liver antioxidant to prevent cirrhosis (scarring which is a common effect from chronic liver inflammation). Recommended dose 500 – 1000 IU per day.
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) - NAC is a modified form of the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine. This amino acid is used to enable damaged liver cells to make more of the powerful antioxidant glutathione, which helps to protect the liver against toxicity and reduce ongoing liver damage. Recommended oral dose 600 mg three times per day.
- Raw juicing
Fresh, raw juices are an incredibly powerful healing tool to improve the function of the liver and strengthen the immune system. Daily juicing with raw, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables have helped many people suffering from hepatitis B and C viruses. To ensure absolute freshness of vitamins and the enzymes are kept intact, it is best to use a good quality juice extractor. You only need about 200 – 300mls of fresh juice per day. The best fruits and vegetables to juice for a healthy liver are: - citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, beetroot, carrot, green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green cabbage, radish, parsley, mint, basil, ginger, cilantro, garlic, chives, and red onion.
- Good quality liver tonic
A good quality liver tonic is important in assisting the liver with detoxification and repair. One of the most important ingredients in this liver tonic is Milk Thistle. The active part of milk thistle, silymarin, is an antioxidant and protector of the liver. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore helpful in liver inflammation such as hepatitis; and is supportive of the repair and renewal of damaged liver cells. Antioxidants are another important component of a superior liver tonic as well as supportive vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.