Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine and Science of Aging, "G. d'Annunzio" University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy.
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 staeatosic diagnosis were recruited and treated with SPV complex.
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), gammaGT (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-gamma, TNF-alpha, 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. This new compound may therefore be useful in clinical practice in patients with chronic hepatitis C who cannot undergo conventional antiviral therapy. J. Med. Virol. 80:1900-1906, 2008.
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Oral Silibinin (SIL) is widely used for treatment of hepatitis C, but its efficacy is unclear. Substantially higher doses can be administered intravenously (IV).
METHODS: Pedigreed nonresponders to full-dose pegylated (Peg)-interferon/ribavirin (PegIFN/RBV) were studied. First, 16 patients received 10 mg/kg/day SIL IV (Legalon Sil; Madaus, Köln, Germany) for 7 days. In a subsequent dose-finding study, 20 patients received 5, 10, 15, or 20 mg/kg/day SIL for 14 days. In both protocols, PegIFN alpha-2a/RBV were started on day 8. Viral load was determined daily.
RESULTS: Unexpectedly, in the first study, HCV-RNA declined on IV SIL by 1.32 +/- 0.55 log (mean +/- SD), P < .001 but increased again in spite of PegIFN/RBV after the infusion period.
The viral load decrease was dose dependent (log drop after 7 days SIL: 0.55 +/- 0.5 [5 mg/kg, n = 3], 1.41 +/- 0.59 [10 mg/kg, n = 19], 2.11 +/- 1.34 [15 mg/kg, n = 5], and 3.02 +/- 1.01 [20 mg/kg, n = 9]; P < .001), decreased further after 7 days combined SIL/PegIFN/RBV (1.63 +/- 0.78 [5 mg/kg, n = 3], 4.16 +/- 1.28 [10 mg/kg, n = 3], 3.69 +/- 1.29 [15 mg/kg, n = 5], and 4.85 +/- 0.89 [20 mg/kg, n = 9]; P < .001), and became undetectable in 7 patients on 15 or 20 mg/kg SIL, at week 12.
Beside mild gastrointestinal symptoms, IV SIL monotherapy was well tolerated.
CONCLUSIONS: IV SIL is well tolerated and shows a substantial antiviral effect against HCV in nonresponders.
Great news Harry!! There were unfavorable reports about milk thistle for HCV a few years ago so my friend didn't try it. Looks like they just didn't take enough in the other study, and it could be that it didn't get through the digestive system well enough when taking it orally. I'll pass this news along! Thank you very much!
My pleasure, Nighowl. If the IV route isn't available, there is a "phytosomal" form of silybin that may be more effective than standard milk thistle extracts. Here's some info. on it, in case it may be of interest: http://www.indena.com/pdf/siliphos.pdf (it's only available in a downloadable brochure format).
I sent an email to my friend's wife, who I am also very close to, and gave her links about the Silybin IV treatment. She wrote back that she would print the articles and take them to the doctor next time. Maybe they will do a study that he could take part in..but I'm always afraid of someone I care about ending up with the placebo and getting worse. The Siliphos supplement does sound like a good product, and I believe they would have more to say about it if the FDA didn't try to gag everyone. I also told my friend about that one.
Thank you very much for all your help and time spent looking!
If your friend decides to try the Siliphos, make sure he shops around. The last I checked, Swanson's has the best price on it. Several brands use that particular extract (made by Indena). But dosage per capsule and prices vary.
I'll keep the hep C info. coming, as I encounter it.
Been working on getting permission from a publisher to put some special articles on the forum about the blood. I have his blessing but I wanted to ask Kevin or someone who knows if there's a way to post it so the pictures will show up and in color. I don't see Kevin listed in the online people. I'll go read the instruction...maybe I can figure it out