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"TREATMENTS" FOR HEPATITIS B - A story of booming multivitamin markets in developing countries

Updated: Mar 9


Multivitamins that are commonly prescribed by some persons - with claims that they cure hepatitis B

Do these look familiar?

It is likely that either you, your family member, or someone you know may have been prescribed or has taken this medication for hepatitis B (or for any hepatitis for that matter). They have taken these, thinking that they are being treated for their hepatitis B and the thinking is that they are getting cured?


What if you were told that these "medicines" do not have any activity against the virus that causes hepatitis B?






I think that the first response is that of shock, then anger (i.e., if you would trust that I am professionally qualified to provide this advice to you).


But these are only supplements and they do not have antiviral properties.

Often times, patients insist that they do need medications for their ailing liver.

Some doctors, out of frantic effort to "get the patients" of their back and or disturbing them, offer then some "medicines".


Instead of offering a robust nutritional advice to patients and to then evaluate the patients for proper antiviral agents, many patients have spent their hard earned funds on these so-called "cures" and only to end up presenting to the same doctors with end-stage liver disease.





I shall next take each of the most commonly prescribed of these medicines and explain how they support the liver (if any) and their limitations in treating viral hepatitis.


Let us go specific.



SYLIMARIN

Sylimarin is regularly taken by patients with hepatitis B. It is derived from a milk thistle herb and has been confirmed to not have any antiviral properties. Sylimarin does not cure chronic hepatitis B. Conducting a review of research outcomes and summaries, Mayer et al, concluded that sylimarin does not have any properties against hepatitis B. Read more about that article here.


"There is no evidence that silymarin affects viral load or improves liver histology in hepatitis B or C"



LIVOLIN FORTE

The marketers of livolin believe that this drug is a liver tonic that helps in regeneration and faster recovery of damaged liver. Livolin Forte contains Phosphatidyl Choline, which maintains the structural and functional integrity of the cell membrane. They have been careful to avoid mentioning the fact that this drug has any antiviral properties. Chronic hepatitis B is a viral infection and unless a drug has antiviral activities, regardless of how effective the regenerative activities of the drug, it is limited by the fact that the causal agent needs to be removed.


Nevertheless, some doctors prescribe this multivitamin and patients errorneously believe they are being treated for hepatitis B. Livolin does not cure chronic hepatitis B.



Livolin does not cure hepatitis B





This is a developing story and so I shall encourage you to return here for updates...




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