A Cure For Hepatitis C? Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) shown to regenerate liver cells

Summary

Hepatitis C is notoriously difficult to treat with conventional drugs and severe infection often leads to a liver transplant Imagine if there was a simple, inexpensive drug that could completely eradicate the virus from the body and promote healthy new liver growth? Well guess what? There IS such a treatment. It’s called Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and it has been proven to cure Hepatitis C.

Article Main Body

An exciting new alternative therapy has emerged which may prove to be the cure for Hepatitis C. The therapy involves the antioxidant known as Alpha Lipoic Acid, or ALA.

ALA is a natural substance made by the body that helps convert glucose into energy. It also helps rid the body of the harmful waste products of energy production, known as ‘free radicals’. Usually antioxidants are depleted as they remove free radicals, however ALA has been shown to reactivate other antioxidants. This may be the key to its effectiveness in liver regeneration.

Hepatitis C is caused by a virus which attacks the liver. As the virus replicates, it reduces the levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that normally protects liver cells. Once this protection is removed, the liver cells start to break down, releasing high levels of toxic enzymes which scar the liver and prevent normal function.

Conventional treatments like interferon and ribavirin cause unpleasant flu-like side-effects. Liver transplant is an option for severe hepatitis C, however the disease isn’t cured by transplant and the virus will soon begin to attack the new liver.

Pioneering Research

The Alpha Lipoic Acid treatment has been pioneered by Dr. Burt Berkson, MD, PhD, an internal medical specialist based out of Las Cuces, New Mexico, in the USA. Dr Berkson has been using the treatment for many years to treat patients with liver complaints, including Hepatitis C. He discovered the treatment way back in the mid-70’s as a young medical student when he was asked to treat two patients who were dying from eating poisonous mushrooms. In an interview with Julia Schopick, for HonestMedicine.com, Dr Berkson said:

“I called Washington and spoke to the head of the National Institutes of Health in Internal Medicine, Dr. Fred Bartter, and I asked him, ‘Is there anything in the world that he knew of that might regenerate a liver?’  And he said he was studying alpha lipoic acid… I…injected it into these two people for a period of two weeks. And in two weeks, they regenerated their livers fully. And they’re still alive and well, in their 80s, thirty some years later.”

Breakthrough research shows ALA cures Hep C

Dr Berkson began to receive federal support for his research, however the support was eventually abandoned due to the lack of pharmaceutical company interest in taking up clinical trials of this inexpensive treatment. However, European interest in his work led to Dr Berkson publishing his studies in a German scientific periodical, Medizinische Klink (reference given below). In this study, three patients with severe Hepatitis C infection were given a triple antioxidant combination of alpha-lipoic acid, silymarin and selenium at the following rates:

Alpha-lipoic acid: 200-300 mg, twice daily.

Silymarin (an extract from milk thistle, a herb): 900 – 1800 mg

All three patients quickly recovered and were soon back at work, living healthy lives free of the scourge of Hepatitis C. This is a remarkable result given that conventional treatments for Hepatitis C have only a 30% response rate. In addition, the treatment cost only $2000, as compared to $300,000 for a liver transplant. Dr Berkson has published a book, The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough, which details his extraordinarily successful therapies (see Resources below)

Selenium (a strong antioxidant and blood purifier)200 mcg, twice daily.

A Hepatitis C survivor

Lloyd Wright, author of the book Triumph Over Hepatitis C, contracted the disease in 1979 after blood transfusions. He was given only 3 to 5 years to live; however, Lloyd began to research alternative therapies and discovered the Alpha Lipoic Acid therapy as well as other natural supplements. He suggests that ALA was ‘vital’ to his recovery. His disease was completely cured and he documents his amazing medical journey in the book.

How to buy ALA

ALA is readily available in capsule form (100 or 200 mg per capsule) from natural health stores. Dr Berkson’s studies show that it should be taken at a rate of 600 mg daily. It is also known as Dihydrolipoic acid, Lipoic acid, Lipolate, or Thiotic acid.

Possible Interactions:

The University of Maryland Medical Centre advises that you should consult your doctor before taking ALA if you are currently on drugs for diabetes or thyroid problems.

Resources:

Transcript and Audio of Interview with Dr Burt Berkson

honestmedicine.com/2009/03/burt-berkson-md-phd-talks-with-honest-medicine-about-his-work-and-our-medical-system-the-interview-t.html

Link to Dr Berkson’s study of ALA treatment on Hepatitis C patients

springerlink.com/content/78x502667h265456/

Dr Berkson’s book, The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough Lloyd Wright’s book Triumph of Hepatitis C

Both available from Amazon.com

The University of Maryland’s overview of ALA

umm.edu/altmed/articles/alpha-lipoic-000285.htm

Accu Reference Medical Lab provides next Hepatitis tests:

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