Hep C and medical foods

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Choline and phosphatidyl choline and now polyenylphosphatidyl choline are all nutritional support for your liver cells (and other cells as well, but that is another story).  For Hepatitis  ( “heap” = liver and   “itis” = inflammation, therefore: “hepatitis”  is an inflammation of the liver and, if you have hepatitis C  it is caused by a virus.  The standard of care disappoints but the scientific rationale for medial foods is strong.


TOPIC 1   Phosphatidylcholine   and  Polyenyl- phosphatidyl Choline


Pathogenesis and treatment of alcoholic liver disease: progress over the last 50 years.

Saturday, January 01, 2005 – Written by Rocz Akad Med Bialymst. 2005;50:7-20.

Lieber CS.

Alcohol Research and Treatment Center, Section of Liver Disease and Nutrition, Bronx VA Medical Center, New York 10468, USA. liebercs@aol.com

Fifty years ago the dogma prevailed that alcohol was not toxic to the liver and that alcoholic liver disease was exclusively a consequence of nutritional deficiencies. We showed, however, that liver pathology developed even in the absence of malnutrition. This toxicity of alcohol was linked to its metabolism via alcohol dehydrogenase which converts nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-reduced form (NADH) which contributes to hyperuricemia, hypoglycemia and hepatic steatosis by inhibiting lipid oxidation and promoting lipogenesis. We also discovered a new pathway of ethanol metabolism, the microsomal ethanol oxidizing system (MEOS). The activity of its main enzyme, cytochrome P4502E1 (CYP2E1), and its gene are increased by chronic consumption, resulting in metabolic tolerance to ethanol. CYP2E1 also detoxifies many drugs but occasionally toxic and even carcinogenic metabolites are produced. This activity is also associated with the generation of free radicals with resulting lipid peroxidation and membrane damage as well as depletion of mitochondrial reduced glutathione (GSH) and its ultimate precursor, namely methionine activated to S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe). Its repletion restores liver functions.

Administration of polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC), a mixture of unsaturated phosphatidylcholines (PC) extracted from soybeans, restores the structure of the membranes and the function of the corresponding enzymes. Ethanol impairs the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A and depletes hepatic vitamin A and, when it is given together with vitamin A or beta-carotene, hepatotoxicity is potentiated. Our present therapeutic approach is to reduce excess alcohol consumption by the Brief Intervention technique found to be very successful. We correct hepatic SAMe depletion and supplementation with PPC has some favorable effects on parameters of liver damage which continue to be evaluated. Similarly dilinoleoylphosphatidylcholine (DLPC), PPC’s main component, also partially opposes the increase in CYP2E1 by ethanol. Hence, therapy with SAMe +DLPC is now being considered.



Polyunsaturated phosphatidyl-choline and interferon alpha for treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C


Friday, May 01, 1998 – Written by Hepatogastroenterology. 1998 May-Jun

Niederau C, Strohmeyer G, Heintges T, Peter K, Göpfert E.

Department of Medicine, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Germany. claus.niederau@uni-duesseldorf.de

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Polyunsaturated phospatidyl-choline (PPC) has been shown to reduce serum aminotransferases in experimental hepatitis. This multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effects of PPC in patients with chronic hepatitis B and C in combination with interferon alpha 2a or 2b. The diagnosis of chronic viral hepatitis was based on an abnormal serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) value (more than twice the upper value of normal), viral replication and chronic hepatitis found on liver biopsy.

METHODOLOGY: Patients received 5 million I.U. (Hepatitis B) and 3 million I.U. (hepatitis C) interferon s.c. thrice weekly for 24 weeks, respectively, and were randomly assigned to additional oral medication with either 6 capsules of PPC (total daily dose: 1.8 g) or 6 capsules of placebo per day for 24 weeks. Biochemical response to therapy was defined as a reduction of ALT by more than 50% of pre-treatment values. The responders were treated for further 24 weeks after cessation of interferon therapy with either PPC or placebo.

RESULTS: 176 patients completed the study protocol (per-protocol population: 92 in the PPC and 84 in the placebo group). A biochemical response (> 50% ALT reduction) was seen in 71% of patients who were treated with PPC, but only in 56% of patients who received placebo (p < 0.05). PPC increased the response rate in particular in patients with hepatitis C: 71% of those patients responded in the PPC group versus 51% in the placebo group (p < 0.05). Prolonged PPC therapy given to responders beyond the cessation of interferon therapy tended to increase the rate of sustained responders at week 48 in patients with hepatitis C (41% versus 15% in the control group; p = 0.064). In contrast, PPC did not alter the biochemical response to interferon in patients with hepatitis B. PPC did not accelerate elimination of HBV-DNA, HBeAg and HCV-RNA.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, PPC may be recommended in patients with chronic hepatitis C in combination with interferon and after termination of interferon in order to reduce the high relapse rate. PPC may not be recommended for patients with chronic hepatitis B. In contrast to IFN and other antiviral agents PPC does not carry major risks and is tolerated very well.


Attenuation of alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis by polyunsaturated lecithin.

Saturday, December 01, 1990 – Written by Hepatology. 1990 Dec;12(6):1390-8.

Lieber CS, DeCarli LM, Mak KM, Kim CI, Leo MA.

Section of Liver Disease and Nutrition, Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center, NY 10468.

Characteristic features of alcoholic liver injury include fibrosis and striking membrane alterations, with associated phospholipid changes. To offset some of these abnormalities, a 10-yr study was conducted in baboons: 12 animals (eight females, four males) were fed a liquid diet supplemented with polyunsaturated lecithin (4.1 mg/kcal) for up to 8 yr, with either ethanol (50% of total energy) or isocaloric carbohydrate. They were compared with another group of 18 baboons fed an equivalent amount of the same diet (with or without ethanol), but devoid of lecithin. In the two groups, comparable increases in lipids developed in the ethanol-fed animals, but striking differences in the degree of fibrosis were seen. Whereas at least septal fibrosis (with cirrhosis in two) and transformation of their lipocytes into transitional cells developed in seven of the nine baboons fed the regular diet with ethanol, septal fibrosis did not develop in any animals fed lecithin (p less than 0.005). They did not progress beyond the stage of perivenular fibrosis (sometimes associated with pericellular and perisinusoidal fibrosis) and had a significantly lesser activation of lipocytes to transitional cells. Furthermore, when three of these animals were taken off lecithin, but continued on the same amount of the ethanol-containing diet, they rapidly (within 18 to 21 mo) progressed to cirrhosis, accompanied by an increased transformation of their lipocytes to transitional cells. These results indicate that some component of lecithin exerts a protective action against the fibrogenic effects of ethanol. Because we had previously found that choline, in amounts present in lecithin, has no comparable action, the polyunsaturated phospholipids themselves might be responsible for the protective effect.
TOPIC  2   Fermented Soy



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