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Treatment with silybin [milk thistle extract]-vitamin E-phospholipid complex in patients with hepatitis C infection – Source: Journal of Medical Virology, Nov 2008

  [ 6 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By Jacopo Vecchiet, et al. • • November 20, 2008

The aim of this study was to evaluate the hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of silybin-phospholipids and vitamin E complex (SPV complex), by determining cytokine patterns and various markers of liver disease.

Forty Caucasian patients with chronic HCV infection were recruited and divided into two groups:
• 30 were treated with SPV complex for 3 months,
• While the other 10 did not receive any treatment.
• Ten other subjects without HCV infection but with steatosic diagnosis were recruited and treated with SPV complex. [Steatosis - fatty deposits in the liver.]

Biochemical and hepatic principal parameters were investigated at 0 (T0) and 3 months (T3).

The group of HCV patients treated showed an improvement trend of hepatic indecises and viral load, and had a significant and persistent reduction of ALT (P = 0.02) and AST serum level (P = 0.01). In this group cytokines showed a statistically significant increase of IL-2 (P = 0.03) and IL-6 were significantly reduced (P = 0.02) at T0 and T3.

After the treatment the group of hepatic steatosics showed a significant decrease in ALT (P = 0.02), AST (0.008), GT (0.004) alkaline phosphatase (0.05), total cholesterol (P = 0.03), fasting glucose (P = 0.008), insulinemia (0.0006), HOMA value (0.002) and C-reactive protein (CRP; 0.04).

There was a significant reduction of IFN- , TNF- , and IL-6 (P = 0.02, 0.05 and 0.04, respectively).

The data suggest that the SPV complex exerts hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects. [Fibrosis is formation of bands of cyst-containing fibrous tissue.] This new compound may therefore be useful in clinical practice in patients with chronic hepatitis C who cannot undergo conventional antiviral therapy.

Source: Journal of Medical Virology, Nov 2008; 80(11), 1871-2052. PMID: 18814247, Falasca K, Ucciferri C, Mancino P, Vitacolonna E, De Tullio D, Pizzigallo E, Conti P, Vecchiet J. Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine and Science of Aging & Department of Oncology and Neuroscience, G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy. [E-mail:]

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Treatment with Silybin... in patients with hepatitis C infection.
Posted by: Matjasec
Nov 26, 2008
I read your article as best as I could without understanding a lot of the laboratory results. I do have some basic understanding of the liver profile blood tests but am not able to understand the results in this article. But, I am pleased to read about the new treatment in regards to Hep C infection. Someone close to me has Hep C infection and I believe by sheer luck, I was passed over for having the same disease. I cannot believe how fortunate I am to be spared. I am excited that this new treatment shows such improvement. How soon before this is, or is it already, to be used as treatment for patients? Where has this trial been done? I am living in Canada, BC to be exact and am asking specifically for St. Paul's Hospital who treats Hep C patients in a big way, for this new treatment. What kind of a timeline are we looking at? What are the dosages and how often, etc. for this new treatment? I would appreciate more articles on this wonderful, non-invasive approach as an alternative or an addition to routine treatment. Good to hear that there are ongoing studies with Milk Thistle and Vitamin E. These are two very powerful and proven treatments, especially Milk Thistle, Vitamine E I have not heard of being used for Hep C. But, I am extremely open to this study. What does this treatment show in the outcome of Liver Cancer that is so very typical to occur from infection with Hepatitis C. Does this new treatment help to protect the patient from the Cancer? Congratulations on your progress. Keep up the good work and I'll be looking for more articles.
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