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2012-08-15

B12 Improves Treatment of Hepatitis C

Before I get to today's study for discussion, please check out the generous offer from True Blue Spirit I just posted under the Ads section to the right. This is a subscription/paid site, but if you click on the ad, you'll be taken to a special page for a free 2-year subscription. This is an excellent meta-physical magazine I'm sure many of you will enjoy.

Now for the study...this one looked at the effect of adding vitamin B12 to standard antiviral treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Approximately 60-80% of HCV-infected people around the world develop chronic hepatitis, and about 30% of those patients go on to develop cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease.

Laboratory in vitro (test tube) experiments have indicated that vitamin B12 directly inhibits HCV replication, but no interventional study had been done to examine the supplement's effect on treating HCV-related chronic disease.Therefore, the authors of this study sought to determine if the benefits of B12 had real-life applications.

To make a long story short, adding vitamin B12 (5000 mcg intramuscularly injected every 4 weeks) to the standard antiviral treatments taken by people who were chronically infected with HCV (but who were naive to antiviral therapy) improved their ability to clear the virus by 34%.

However, the authors urge caution in interpreting their results since the study was a small one and lacked a placebo group.

Source: Vitamin B12 supplementation improves rates of sustained viral response in patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus

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