HEALTHYHEPPER.COM
Hepatitis C Alternative Medicine Treatment Options



HEP C LATEST NEWS

2004 HealthyHepper.com. All rights reserved.
Contact WEBMASTER



The natural choice to restore core intestinal health and boost immunity.

+Clinically shown to boost immunity*
+Greater energy: Probiotics improve nutrient absorption*
+Clinically shown to support normal elimination and improve digestion*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.

ADVERTISEMENT


The following is an extract from the above e-book

HEPATITIS C AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IN
THE FIGHT AGAINST HEPATITIS C?

Survivors of hepatitis C, medical doctors, scientists and nutritionists all agree that the immune system plays a crucial role in suppressing or eliminating the virus. In cases where a Hepatitis C patient successfully used "alternative" methods to decrease viral loads, decrease liver enzyme levels or even eliminate the virus completely, there is a very consistent trend in their treatment: the tremendous emphasis on improving the immune system.

Here we will speak a lot about Hepatitis C. It is a unique virus in that it has higher viremeia (viral persistence) than other forms of hepatitis. For instance, unlike clearance of Hepatitis B, spontaneous clearance of HCV (Hepatitis C)is rare after chronic infection becomes established, according to Mandrell, Douglas and Bennett's, "Principles & Practices of Infectious Diseases."

Since hepatitis C is a virus, it stands to reason, that ultimately the immune system's response is a key factor in the body's elimination of disease. Since 15 to 20% of individuals with acute hepatitis C do not develop the chronic disease (85 % of cases go on to become chronic), it would seem that the immune system of those who did not become chronic carriers was able to successfully fight the infection. This is merely an opinion and not a scientific fact, but one might conclude that the immune system deserves some credit in such cases.

With hepatitis C, the mechanisms of viral clearance are poorly understood because of limitations in experimental models and the infrequent recognition of natural acute infection (only about 5% of Hep C cases actually manifest an acute illness after the initial incubation of the virus).

Viral persistence of HCV is indeed the topic of study for scientists trying to uncover this "evolved" virus which is known for its ability to evade immune responses!

BASICS OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Let's learn some basics of the immune system so we can better understand how it protects us from disease.

The immune system is a group of cells, molecules, and organs that defend the body against invaders causing disease.

"Adaptive" immunity occurs when the invader attacks the body (as opposed to "innate" immunity which is furnished by barriers such as skin, tears and saliva). Adaptive immunity has four distinguishing qualities: it responds only after the invader is present, it is specific, it displays memory, and it does not usually attack normal body components.

Adaptive immune responses are reaction to antigens (structures on the surface of the invader). The two types of adaptive immune responses are HUMORAL and CELL-MEDIATED. In humoral responses, proteins called antibodies, which can destroy antigens, appear in the body fluids to resist invaders that act outside cells, such as bacteria and toxins.

In CELL-MEDIATED responses, cells that can destroy the antigen become active to resist invaders that reproduce within other cells, such as VIRUSES.

COMPONENTS OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

White blood cells are the mainstay of the immune system. Some white blood cells, known as macrophages, work by surrounding, absorbing, and destroying invaders, or by delivering them elsewhere to be destroyed. Lyphocytes are specialized white blood cells that identify and destroy antigens. B lymphocytes, or B cells, make antibodies. T-lymphocytes, or T-cells, recognize specific antigens and directly destroy cells. Helper T-lyphocytes control the strength and quality of immune responses. Most contact between antigens and lyphocytes occurs in the lymph nodes, spleen, and tonsils, as well as in specialized areas of the lung and intestine.

In "adaptive immunity" each response is tailored to a specific invading antigen, and lymphocyte is specific to a certain antigen. When an antigen enters a body cell, transport molecules within the cell attach themselves to the antigen and transport it to the surface of the cell where they present the antigen to T-lymphocytes.

WHAT CAUSES HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV) TO BE SO EVASIVE OF
IMMUNE SYSTEM RESPONSES?

The high frequency with which HCV establishes persistent infection in non-immunocompromised adults contrasts sharply with the pattern of HBV infection and suggests that HCV has evolved one or more specific mechanisms to evade immune responses. Scientists are not certain what makes the virus so resistant to immune response.

However the following are some "text book" theories (these are highly technical and may be a good topic to discuss with your doctor):

HIGHLY "TECHNICAL" SCIENTIFIC THEORIES

(Your Doctor May Be Able To Clarify Some Of This If You Have Questions)

#1 The highly glycosylated nature of the viral envelope may protect it against antibody-mediated neutralization.

#2 The envelope may have evolved a structure (namely the putative E2 HVR-1 polypeptide loop) that allows it to decoy antibodies and to protect an otherwise vulnerable, conserved receptor-binding ligand from anti-body attack.

#3 The virus may regulate replication to a level that is too low to disrupt cellular homeostasis and that generates only meager amounts of viral antigens.

WHAT DOES SCIENCE KNOW ABOUT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM'S ROLE IN "CLEARANCE" OF THE VIRUS?

Again this is a very technical area. It could be concluded from the available data that it is possible for the immune system to develop a response that eliminates the virus, however it is unclear what all the influencing factors are.
Here are the technical "facts":

Clearance of viremia (viral persistence) has been associated with a strong CD4+ T-cell response, especially in NS3 (amino acid). A helper #2 T-cell-1 phenotype and the associated cytokine profile also are associated with self-limited viremia.

Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL'S) are likely to play an important role in suppressing the infection, and the intensity of this immune response may affect the level of viremia (viral persistence).

From reading the above information you have probably concluded that HCV is a very "strong" virus that is a challenge for anyone's immune system to handle. So what can you do to improve your immune system, so it can function at its optimum level?

DEVELOP A SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT PROGRAM

According to the book "Activate Your Immune System" by Leonid Ber, MD," keeping your immune system operating at peak performance should be your number one goal. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to stimulate a consistent, positive immune response."

It goes on to name "Important aspects for optimum immune system function:

  • proper diet
  • healthy lifestyle choices
  • exercise/physical activity
  • the mind/body connection
  • nutritional supplements

In addition to these is: love, laughter, faith, a good attitude, relaxation.

Life Style choices that have a negative impact on the immune system include: lack of sleep, smoking, alcohol, poor diet, stress, "toxic" relationships.

Naomi Judd, the country singer, has been successful in her battle against this disease. Her healing program involved, among other things, an emphasis on the mind-body connection. Many experts report the positive effects of techniques such as visualization/guided imagery, biofeedback, spirituality, faith, prayer, positive thinking and meditation. Naomi Judd's program confirms this approach. The mind-body connection is being studied by scientists. The connection between the mind and the immune system is referred to as "psychoneuroimmunology".

CONCLUSION ON HCV AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

There is much to be learned about the immune system, its relationship to Hepatitis C and what determines whether an individual's immune system can "beat" this virus.

In the meantime, we have written reports that give detailed information about "nutritional immunology" (the study of how certain nutrients can enhance the human immune system). Our reports contain a summary of nutritional supplements that can be classified as "immune enhancers" along with the research and studies done on those supplements. Different nutritional supplements affect different aspects of the immune system. Our reports explain what each supplement's possible benefits are.

HEP C E-BOOKS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE

THE FIRST E-BOOKS ON THE WEB TO BE EXCLUSIVELY DEVOTED TO NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOR HEP C. Ideal for interferon NON-RESPONDERS, those on interferon seeking ADJUNCT THERAPY, those who seek ALL NATURAL TREATMENT and those who had to stop interferon.

DISCLAIMER