Hepatitis C
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Articles by
Dr. Zhang
TCM and MCM Theory Related to Common Liver Disease Blood Test Markers

Low Dose Interferon Patient Experiment

Hepatitis A Prevention Reminder

Hepatitis: Causes of Pain in Liver Region 

The Need to Monitor Your Chronic Hepatitis

Liver Enzyme Fluctuation during Allergy Season 

What are the Serum Markers of Hepatitis B and What do They Mean?

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 2

Enterogenous Endotoxemia in Chronic Hepatitis–
Part 1

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy -
Part 2

Chronic Hepatitis and "Blood Activating and Stasis Expelling" (BASE) Therapy
Part 1

What Causes Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Cirrhotic Liver Disease

Dietary Support for Cirrhotic Liver Diseases

Ascites - A Complication of De-Compensated Liver Cirrhosis

Liver Cirrhosis - Portal Vein Hypertension Complications

Liver Cirrhosis Overview

PG-IFN and Ribavirin Treatments

Antibiotics and Chronic Liver Diseases

Why is Alcohol Harmful for People with Hepatitis?

Co-infections and Super-infections of Viral Hepatitis

Beware of Medications That Can Cause Liver Damage

Bile Retention and Its Clinical Manifestations (MCM) part 4

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Part 3 
Jaundice and Chronic Viral Hepatitis

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 2

Modern Chinese Medicine (MCM) Anti-Liver-Fibrosis Treatments - Part 1

What is Liver Fibrosis and How is It Different from Cirrhosis?

How does the liver change as we get older?

How is that my LFTs are so good when my viral load is seemly so high?

Comprehensive Care for Chronic Viral Hepatitis

What can Cause Liver Inflammation?  

What Are the Major Functions that the Liver Carries?


Dietary Considerations

While a good diet provides adequate supplies of nutrients for most healthy people, patients with hepatitis and other liver disorders often have vitamin and mineral deficiencies

The B vitamins are all required for the normal functioning of specific enzymes. They are responsible for many important processes such as converting sugar into usable energy and keeping cells healthy. Because these vitamins are vital to a vigorous long life, not getting them can lead to serious problems. Especially for patients with liver disorders, fatigue is the most common symptom and with the help of B vitamins the energy generating mechanism in the liver will be functioning well and can help to release this symptom

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is often deficient in patients with liver disease. Thiamin aids in the proper function of the mucous membranes, nervous system, muscles, heart, and metabolism.  It aids energy levels, decreases pain, and may fight viruses (e.g., Herpes Zoster). Symptoms of thiamin deficiency include poor memory, fatigue, muscle weakness and blindness. These symptoms are also common in liver disorders. Over time, thiamin deficiency can lead to heart disease and brain damage.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) enables carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to release energy. Riboflavin is needed for normal reproduction, growth, and repair of skin, hair, nails, and joints. It is also important to the immune system.

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is necessary for utilization of fats, tissue respiration and production of polysaccharides. This vitamin aids in release of energy from foods, helps synthesize DNA. It is also involved in the manufacture of sex and adrenal hormones.

Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) is needed for certain detoxification processes in the liver as well as conjugation of bile acids produced by the liver. Bile acids must be conjugated in order to help in the assimilation of dietary fats.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) has a wide variety of metabolic functions in the body, especially in amino acid metabolism and in the central nervous system, where it supports production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Pyridoxine deficiency causes blood, skin, and nerve changes. This vitamin is unique in that both deficiency and excess can cause peripheral neuropathy. Pyridoxine is needed for proper immune function. Deficiency of this nutrient impairs immunity. Hepatitis and liver disorders increase the risk of pyridoxine deficiency

Vitamin B12 promotes healthy blood cells, appetite and mental function. Because the liver is involved absorption of Vitamin B12, a diseased or inflamed liver may not be able to keep up with body demands for this vitamin under stress. B12 is needed to help cells grow and maintain normal function. It is an especially important vitamin for healthy bone marrow (where blood cells are formed) and the nervous system. Not getting enough Vitamin B12 leads to a condition called pernicious anemia, which results in red blood cells not getting enough oxygen and causing disorders of the nervous system.

Supplementation with folic acid along with vitamin B12 has shown promise in helping to reduce the number of days of hospitalization from viral hepatitis and to speed healing of the injured liver. Folic acid and vitamin B12 may protect against ribavirin-induced anemia, which occurs in 10 percent of hepatitis C patients being treated with ribavirin.

Biotin is required for fat and protein metabolism, effective immunity and gene function. Biotin deficiency is most common in the elderly, people with diabetes and in those who take too many antibiotics. Anemia, muscle pain, dermatitis and pins-and-needles in the toes mark biotin deficiency

Vitamin C provides general support for the immune system. It also is required for the production of the protein known as collagen. Collagen found in all tissues of the body. Also found in the filtration apparatus of the kidneys, which can be diseased in hepatitis patients. High doses of vitamin C (greater than 2,000 mgs per day) can cause increased absorption of iron from the bowel and is thus contraindicated in people with high levels of iron in their liver cells, which are common in chronic hepatitis patients. High iron level is being considered to have negative effects on the healing of the liver.

People with hepatitis are often deficient in Vitamin E, and this deficiency will weaken the immune system, weaken the red blood cells, and worsen the nerve and muscle damage that can occur with hepatitis. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It helps overcome fatigue and enhances cell mediated immunity. Vitamin E deficiency is linked to cirrhosis. Vitamin E may prevent some of the molecular changes associated with the development of cirrhosis.

Vitamin K deficiency is associated with liver disease. Poor blood clotting is a symptom of deficiency. Vitamin K is a key cofactor for the formation of a number of proteins that include -carboxyglutamic acid. The best recognized of these is prothrombin. However, it is now recognized that carboxylation is an important enzymatic step for the activation of a wide range of proteins with many different functions. These proteins are in the blood, kidney, lung, and bone. It has been recently recognized that vitamin K plays a role in bone formation. Recent evidence suggests that even patients with cirrhosis may have abnormal bone turnover and increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin K therapy may improve bone mass among people with cirrhosis. The role of vitamin K supplementation is of greatest interest in patients with cholestatic (blockage of bile secretion) liver disease, both because these patients are at greatest risk for malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins and vitamin K is fat-soluble.

Chronic liver disease is frequently associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis and, occasionally, osteomalacia, particularly in the setting of alcoholic and cholestatic liver disease. Recent studies suggest that even patients with chronic viral hepatitis have decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis. Bone disease associated with cirrhosis is multifactorial in nature and may be due to malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin D, and calcium; malnutrition; and increased bone turnover from hormonal and metabolic factors. In addition to the nonspecific effects related to chronic liver disease, patients with cholestatic liver disease are at risk for malabsorption of calcium and fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K, which may lead to osteomalacia


Return Home
About HCV
Causes and Transmission

Diagnostic Tests
Viral Load

Viral Genotyping

Major Signs
Liver Inflammation

Peripheral Signs and Symptoms
Bile Retention
Joint Pains and Skin Rashes
Blood Sugar Instability
Portal Vein Hypertension

Important Liver Function Test Markers
PT (Prothrombin Time)
Liver Biopsy
Inflammation Grade
Fibrosis Stage
Interferon Based Treatment
Ideal Candidate
Possible Side-effects
Liver Support with TCM
Liver Enzymes
Serum Albumin
Blood Clotting Factors
Bile metabolism
Dietary Considerations
Essential Fats




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