Natural products and chronic hepatitis C virus

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver (Impact Factor: 4.85). 03/2007; 27(1):17-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2006.01408.x
Source: PubMed


Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a significant public health problem, with a worldwide prevalence of approximately 170 million. The standard of care for chronic HCV, a combination of alpha-interferon (IFN) and ribavirin, is only 50% effective, has serious side effects, and can be prohibitively expensive for low-income countries with a high prevalence of HCV. Many patients use natural products, including those who are not eligible for IFN/ribavirin, cannot afford treatment, or fail to respond to IFN.
Extensive literature searches were conducted in order to identify clinical trials and reviews of natural products used for treatment of chronic HCV. This review focuses on the composition, pharmacology and results of clinical trials of three natural products: Oxymatrine, TJ-108/schisandra/Gomisin A and lactoferrin.
Several laboratory and human studies have been performed to evalaute these alternative treatments, but many of these studies are small, uncontrolled and have other important design flaws. While they do offer some safety and efficacy data, none of these studies is conclusive.
Further research is needed on the effectiveness of these natural products for treatment of chronic HCV, including their preparation and standardization.

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Available from: Christine M Goertz, Oct 10, 2014
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    • "It seems that the most important task would be to prepare a dossier required for toxicological risk assessment of this product. Oxymatrine has been a subject of pharmacological studies which have demonstrated its therapeutic potential in the treatment of hepatitis and some other human diseases, but additional clinical research on its safety is needed in order to obtain conclusive results (Azzam et al. 2007; Luk et al. 2007; Zeng and Jiang 2010; Liu et al. 2014). More serious concern is associated with psoralen, a photoreactive compound which intercalates between adjacent base pairs of DNA and creates adducts under ultraviolet A (UVA) irradiation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lethal and sublethal effects of the biopesticide Kingbo (oxymatrine 0.2 % + psoralen 0.4 %) on the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) were investigated in laboratory bioassays. The biopesticide was applied to bean leaf discs or primary leaves by using a Potter spray tower. Acute toxicity tests showed no significant ovicidal action: toxic effect (LC50 = 55.49 μl/l) was the result of a residual activity against larvae that hatched from the treated eggs. Preovipositional females and female teleiochrysales showed similar susceptibility (LC50 = 52.68 and 59.03 μl/l, respectively), whereas larvae, protonymphs and female deutonymphs were the most susceptible stages (LC50 = 6.88, 13.03, and 8.80 μl/l, respectively). In a choice test, females preferred the untreated halves of leaves over the halves treated with 2,000, 1,000, and 500 μl/l in the first 24 h, and their oviposition in those treatments was significantly greater on the untreated halves after 24 and 48 h, as well as the summed oviposition over 72 h. Viability and reproduction of survivors, as well as population growth, were strongly affected after the treatments of preovipositional females and female teleiochrysales with 100, 50 and 25 μl/l. On the other hand, sublethal effects on the females that survived treatment at the egg stage or reached adulthood from the eggs laid on the treated surface (treatments with 50 and 25 μl/l) were significantly weaker. Acaricidal and sublethal effects of the biopesticide Kingbo were discussed as a starting point for further research aimed to improve management of T. urticae populations. Regulatory issues and safety concerns regarding further commercialization of this biopesticide are addressed as well.
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    • "Interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing throughout the world probably because there are only few universally effective and available options for the treatment of common liver diseases such as cirrhosis, fatty liver, and chronic hepatitis.[123456] In recent years, researchers have used scientific methods to evaluate the effects of plants used in traditional CAM for the treatment of liver ailments.[78910] In many cases, the mechanisms and modes of action of these plants as well as their therapeutic effectiveness have been confirmed in clinical studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Various hepatoprotective herbal products from plants are available in Mexico, where up to 85% of patients with liver disease use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. However, only few studies have reported on the biological evaluation of these products. Using a model of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity in rats, we evaluated the effects of commercial herbal extracts used most commonly in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Mexico. The commercial products were identified through surveys in public areas. The effect of these products given with or without CCl4 in rats was evaluated by measuring the serum concentrations of aspartate amino transferase (AST) and alanine amino transferase (ALT), and histopathological analysis. Legalon(®) was used as the standard drug. The most commonly used herbal products were Hepatisan(®) capsules, Boldo capsules, Hepavida(®) capsules, Boldo infusion, and milk thistle herbal supplement (80% silymarin). None of the products tested was hepatotoxic according to transaminase and histological analyses. AST and ALT activities were significantly lower in the Hepavida+CCl4-treated group as compared with the CCl4-only group. AST and ALT activities in the silymarin, Hepatisan, and Boldo tea groups were similar to those in the CCl4 group. The CCl4 group displayed submassive confluent necrosis and mixed inflammatory infiltration. Both the Hepatisan+CCl4 and Boldo tea+CCl4 groups exhibited ballooning degeneration, inflammatory infiltration, and lytic necrosis. The silymarin+CCl4 group exhibited microvesicular steatosis. The Hepavida+CCl4- and Legalon+CCL4-treated groups had lower percentages of necrotic cells as compared with the CCl4-treated group; this treatment was hepatoprotective against necrosis. Only Hepavida had a hepatoprotective effect.
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