Tags: vitamin | hepatitis | virus

Vitamin B12 Helps Treat Hepatitis C

Tuesday, 24 July 2012 10:56 AM EDT

Adding vitamin B12 to antiviral drug treatment for hepatitis C significantly boosts the body's ability to keep the virus at bay, a study has found.
The research, published online in the journal Gut, found vitamin treatments could be a safe and inexpensive option for boosting standard treatment for the liver disease – particularly for patients whose infections have proven difficult to treat effectively.
The researchers noted standard treatment – with interferon and ribavarin – clears the virus in only about half of all those infected with hep C or the infection returns once treatment stops.
Experimental studies have suggested vitamin B12 may have a role in suppressing hep C, so the researchers sought to determine whether adding vitamin B12 to standard treatment would make a difference.
Ninety-four patients with hep C infection were randomly assigned to receive standard treatment or conventional drug therapy plus vitamin B12. Researchers found the combo therapy was far more successful after 24 weeks – “the closest it can get to a cure.”
The investigators concluded standard treatment plus vitamin B12 is a safe and inexpensive alternative, particularly for those who carry a strain of the virus that is hard to treat. They added: "This strategy would be especially useful in those countries where, owing to limited economic means, the new generation antiviral therapies cannot be given in routine practice."
Up to 80 percent of hep C patients go on to develop chronic hepatitis, and roughly a third of them will progress to cirrhosis and terminal liver disease.

© HealthDay

Adding vitamin B12 to antiviral drugs for hepatitis C boosts the body's ability to fight the virus.
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 10:56 AM
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