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12.02.2014


Chlorella protects liver against hepatitis-C virus

The hepatitis-C virus decimates your liver. Supplements containing Chlorella vulgaris may help protect the livers of infected individuals  a little, researchers at the American Northgate Medical Center announced in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Chlorella may also help the body to fight the virus  again, just a little.
The hepatitis-C virus decimates your liver. Supplements containing Chlorella vulgaris may help protect the livers of infected individuals a little, researchers at the American Northgate Medical Center announced in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Chlorella may also help the body to fight the virus again, just a little.

Hepatitis-C
Millions of people on this planet carry, often without knowing, the hepatitis-C virus [see below]. Transfusions with infected blood are usually how infection happens, but the virus can also be transmitted through infected injection needles that have been used on carriers, unhygienic body piercing or tattooing practices, or through sexual contact.

The hepatitis-C virus decimates your liver. Supplements containing Chlorella vulgaris may help protect the livers of infected individuals  a little, researchers at the American Northgate Medical Center announced in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Chlorella may also help the body to fight the virus  again, just a little.
The hepatitis virus multiplies in liver cells. The liver damage that results causes stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, jaundice, fatigue and itching. If the immune system doesn't manage to control the virus, or no medical treatment is available, the longer-term effects include fibrosis of the liver, cirrhosis and ultimately liver cancer.

Study
Bhutani divided her subjects into four groups of 16 test subjects in each.

There are four known types of the hepatitis-C virus. Types 1 and 4 are so aggressive that the body is unable to fight these successfully on its own. Combined therapy is required, consisting of a synthetic version of the immuno-stimulatory protein interferon and a virus inhibitor. This treatment has only been available since 2000.

Animal and human studies have shown that chlorella stimulates the synthesis of interferon, which is why the researchers wanted to know whether Chlorella supplementation would help fight the hepatitis-C type-1 virus. In order to find out they did a 12-week experiment with 13 people all of whom had a hepatitis-C type-1 virus infection.

The researchers give little information about their test subjects, but reading between the lines you'd suspect that they came from the lower echelons of society.

The subjects had not been using any medication. Half of them had been given medicine in the past, but had not reacted well to it.

The researchers gave their subjects 3 tablets containing 500 mg Chlorella twice a day for the first week. Then all subjects were given the same dose three times a day. That meant that the subjects took a total of 4.5 g Chlorella in tablet form daily during weeks 2-12.

In addition the subjects also drank 30 ml of a soluble Chlorella preparation twice a day. This gave them another 5 g Chlorella daily. Both products had been manufactured by the Japanese Sun Chlorella Corporation.

Results
Supplementation reduced the concentration of the liver enzyme AST in the blood of most of the subjects. That's a positive sign, as a high AST level is a sign that the liver is having difficulties. The effect was not statistically significant, though. The values shown in the figure below are of the number of IE/ml.


The hepatitis-C virus decimates your liver. Supplements containing Chlorella vulgaris may help protect the livers of infected individuals  a little, researchers at the American Northgate Medical Center announced in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Chlorella may also help the body to fight the virus  again, just a little.


What was significant and positive was the effect of Chlorella on the level of the liver enzyme ALT. The level of this also decreased in most of the subjects, as shown below, which is a positive sign. Deceasing ALT values suggest liver recovery is taking place. The values shown in the figure below are of the number of IE/ml.


The hepatitis-C virus decimates your liver. Supplements containing Chlorella vulgaris may help protect the livers of infected individuals  a little, researchers at the American Northgate Medical Center announced in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Chlorella may also help the body to fight the virus  again, just a little.


The researchers also monitored the presence of the hepatitis virus by checking the levels of virus-RNA in the subjects' blood. In most of the subjects the amount decreased, but this effect was not statistically significant either.


The hepatitis-C virus decimates your liver. Supplements containing Chlorella vulgaris may help protect the livers of infected individuals  a little, researchers at the American Northgate Medical Center announced in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Chlorella may also help the body to fight the virus  again, just a little.


The researchers also studied a control group of people who were infected but were not given any Chlorella. In this group there were no significant changes.

Conclusion
The researchers are aware that Chlorella cannot cure hepatitis-C type-1 virus infections. They write: "Nevertheless, we conclude from our present findings that the benefits of Chlorella administration in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C-virus infection before and/or during the administration of interferon plus antiviral drugs, as well as the effects of Chlorella upon chronic infection by other hepatitis C-virus genotypes, warrant further study."

Sponsor
The study was not financed by the Sun Chlorella Corporation, but by the researchers' employer.

Source:
World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Feb 21;19(7):1085-90.

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