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| Liver Diseases
Vitamin B12 may boost efforts to treat hepatitis C
Updated: 2012-07-25 14:10:53 CST Category: Liver Diseases
New research published in the journal Gut suggests that vitamin B12 may support regimens that treat hepatitis C. These results suggest that patients who have this viral infection may want to undergo a lab test to determine whether they consume adequate levels of this nutrient.
A combination of interferon and ribavarin may help hepatitis C patients clear the virus from their bodies. However, about 50 percent of individuals on this regimen fail to completely eliminate the pathogen or experience a relapse once treatment stops.
Previous research suggested that vitamin B12 may have a protective effect on the livers of hepatitis C patients. In order to investigate further, a team of scientists conducted a study in which 94 individuals with the virus were assigned to either standard treatment with interferon and ribavarin, or standard treatment combined with 5000 micrograms of vitamin B12.
Results showed that starting at 12 weeks, those who were taking vitamin B12 experienced better improvements compared to those who did not receive supplements. Overall, the addition of vitamin B12 to standard therapy improved sustained viral response by 34 percent.
Individuals who are worried about the health of their liver may undergo a lab test to measure levels of vitamin B12 as well as detect the presence of hepatitis C antibodies.
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