following is an extract from the above e-book
HEPATITIS C AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
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.
IMPORTANT IS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IN
THE FIGHT AGAINST HEPATITIS C?
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
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).
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
BASICS OF THE
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.
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.
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.
responses, cells that can destroy the antigen become active to resist
invaders that reproduce within other cells, such as VIRUSES.
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.
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
(Your Doctor May Be Able To Clarify Some Of This If You Have Questions)
highly glycosylated nature of the viral envelope may protect it against
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
virus may regulate replication to a level that is too low to disrupt
cellular homeostasis and that generates only meager amounts of viral
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
Here are the technical "facts":
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.
(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
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
- the mind/body
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"
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.
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.