YOUR LIVER AND HEPATITIS C
Since vitamins are
essential to life and good health, it stands to reason that a well-rounded
multivitamin supplement would be helpful to anyone, especially someone
with a chronic disease such as Hepatitis C.
Most people trying
take charge of their health with the aid of nutritional supplements
do not think in terms of RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances), they
think in terms of the taking the amounts that will target their specific
health challenges and maximize their health.
for Nutritional Healing, by James F. Balch calls this ODA’s,
optimal daily allowances-- the amounts of nutrients needed for vibrant
good health. The RDA’s are the recommended allowances that one needs
to avoid malnutrition and diseases resulting from not obtaining the
minimum daily needs.
When looking for a
good multivitamin, I used several criteria. First, I wanted it to
contain as many and as much antioxidants as possible. A common guideline
for antioxidant doses that your multivitamin should have in it are:
Vitamin C -- 2,500 mg Beta-carotene -- 15,000 IU Vitamin E -- 800-1200
IU Selenium -- 200-400 mcg Zinc -- 30 mg
Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. Additionally, studies show those whose diets are higher in vitamin C have lower rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer.
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.
Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. Beta carotene also protects against cancer by stimulating the immune cells called macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factor, which kills cancer cells. It has also been shown that beta carotene supplements can increase the production of T-cell lymphocytes and natural killer cells and can enhance the ability of the natural killer cells to attack cancer cells.
Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Vitamin E supplementation may also reverse some of the decline in immune response commonly seen in aging.
Selenium increases natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells.
Zinc increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer and helps white cells release more antibodies. Zinc supplements have been shown to slow the growth of cancer. A word of caution: too much zinc in the form of supplements (more than 75 milligrams a day) can inhibit immune function. According to a study published in the November 2009 Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, "Zinc supplementation improves the long-term outcome of chronic hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis."
Synthetic vs. Natural
Vitamins for those with Hepatitis C
According the James
F Balch, MD, synthetic vitamins are vitamins produced in laboratories
from isolated chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature.
Natural vitamins are derived from food sources. Supplements that are
not labeled natural may also have coal tars, artificial coloring,
preservatives, sugars, starch, and other additives. These are considered
He continues to address
the issue, “ Studies have shown that protein-bonded vitamins, as found
in natural whole food supplements, are absorbed, utilized, and retained
in the tissues better than supplements that are not protein-bonded.
Chemical-derived vitamins are not protein-bonded.”
The upshot is use the
There are several multivitamin
formulas (or shall I say thousands) that came to my attention when
looking for optimum doses of vitamins in the best form. Both Dr.
David Williams and Dr. Julian Whittaker have multivitamin
formulas available for sale that meet all the requirements I wanted
in a multivitamin, and even contained food supplements to promote
energy such as ginseng and enzymes such as Co-Q. They were everything
you could want in a multivitamin, in my opinion, except for the price!
Wow! $45 a month in addition to all the other supplements I have to
I finally decided on
the VM-2000 made by Solgar, one of the most reputable vitamin
companies there is. This is Solgar’s most intense multivitamin formula.
Solgar has several multivitamin formulas, with lower doses of vitamins.
But the VM-2000 seems like it was designed for people with health
challenges or diseases. It has the highest doses. It had the doses
I was looking for in nearly all the vitamins and minerals. It also
has the amino acids and some superfoods. I also liked the fact that
it’s just two tablets a day.
Best of all the price
is about $12/month!
THAT CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO ANYONE WITH HCV
If you have a liver
disease, it is recommended that you do not take a dose of over 10,000
international units of vitamin A or any amount of cod liver oil. However, according to James
F Balch. Mathhew Dolan (author of The Hepatitis C Handbook)says
no more than 25,000 IU’s of vitamin A should be taken daily. Apparently,
the opinion varies. Most multivitamin complexes do not exceed this
amount. My gastro doctor seems to be confident that vitamin A would not be
harmful unless taken in “mega doses”, that no multivitamin is close
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