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Quercetin Might Help Fight Hepatitis C

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. April 17, 2012

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Quercetin is a relative newcomer to the arsenal of nutritional supplements believed to help those with Hepatitis C.

Millions of Americans know they are currently living with chronic Hepatitis C – and millions more have yet to learn of their infection with this common, dangerous liver virus. Despite recent advances in Hepatitis C treatment, a sizable portion of those with this illness are not able to triumph over this infection, rendering them vulnerable to advancing chronic liver disease. Fortunately, several natural supplements demonstrate an ability to impair the Hepatitis C virus. While more intensive research is needed to fully back quercetin as one such supplement, research from Los Angeles delivers hope that quercetin inhibits the life cycle of the Hepatitis C virus.

Hepatitis C Treatment

Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that can cause progressive damage to the liver. If the virus is not halted early enough, it can cause irreparable and even fatal liver injury. Hence, the need for effective treatment is paramount. Previously, the standard of treatment for Hepatitis C was a combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin. These drugs often exert a long list of side effects, and were deemed successful in eliminating Hepatitis C in about half of those who took the drugs. However, 2011 marked a major change in Hepatitis C therapy with two new drugs approved for treatment: telaprevir and boceprevir. When added to interferon and ribavirin, telaprevir or boceprevir are believed to dramatically boost treatment success rates. However, they do not ‘cure’ everyone. This is because some individuals:

  • are ineligible for Hepatitis C therapy
  • must stop Hepatitis C treatment early due to the drugs’ side effects
  • do not achieve a sustained viral response rate (the benchmark of successful treatment)

These obstacles to successful elimination of Hepatitis C put a great demand on natural – yet effective – treatment adjuncts. As demonstrated by UCLA researchers, the antioxidant Quercetin shows exciting promise in the inhibition of Hepatitis C.

About Quercetin

Quercetin is a plant pigment known as a flavonoid, a substance that gives many fruits, flowers and vegetables their color. Flavonoids are also antioxidants, compounds that scavenge damaging free radicals to prevent cellular damage. Quercetin is found in many plants and foods, such as:

  • citrus fruits
  • apples
  • onions
  • parsley
  • sage
  • tea
  • grapes
  • dark cherries
  • blackberries
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • St. John’s wort

Quercetin appears to have a variety of beneficial health properties. It acts like an antioxidant, an antihistamine, an anti-inflammatory and may help protect against heart disease and cancer. In addition, research from UCLA presents evidence that quercetin could impair the life cycle of the Hepatitis C virus.

UCLA Research – Past and Present

As published in the December 2009 edition of the journal Hepatology, research led by UCLA assistant professor of pathology Samuel French found that quercetin inhibited the synthesis of two cellular proteins that are important in Hepatitis C infection. As such, this study revealed quercetin to significantly inhibit infection with Hepatitis C. Since this natural supplement has a safety profile that dramatically trumps any of the currently approved medications for Hepatitis C treatment, French’s finding is substantial.

To gather more evidence, UCLA is sponsoring a Phase I trial to evaluate the safety and Hepatitis C antiviral activity of quercetin. Still recruiting participants, this trial zeroes in on Hepatitis C patients who have contraindications to standard antiviral treatment:

  • treatment naïve patients who decline standard therapy
  • patients who previously had standard treatments with relapse
  • those who had intolerable side effects to previous treatment

With completion of the study expected midway through 2012, the Hepatitis C community is actively waiting to learn how much of an impact quercetin has on fighting this liver disease.

Recent progress by the pharmaceutical industry has escalated the hope for millions of people to conquer their Hepatitis C infection. For those that are not helped by these new drugs, there is still hope. Quercetin, a nutritional supplement that functions as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, may be able to protect the liver from this virus without unleashing the side effects that have come to be associated with Hepatitis C treatment.

References:

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01438320, Q-Trial in Patients with Hepatitis C, Retrieved February 12, 2012, National Institutes of Health, 2012.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19839005, The heat shock protein inhibitor Quercetin attenuates hepatitis C virus production, Gonzalez O, et al, Retrieved February 12, 2012, Hepatology, December 2009.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100106/Quercetin-may-prevent-hepatitis-C-infection3b-findings-may-lead-to-less-toxic-treatments.aspx, Quercetin May Prevent Hepatitis C Infection; findings may lead to less toxic treatments, Retrieved February 12, 2012, News-Medical.net, 2012.

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/quercetin-000322.htm, Quercetin, Retrieved February 12, 2012, University of Maryland Medical Center, 2012.

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  • Marjorie

    can volunteers from the  third world be in the study?
    Marjorie

    • Guest

      Are you from the third world?

      • Edgedeva

        theres another world? o.m.g.

  • S Ong

    Would appreciate a telephone number to call and name of person to speak to.  Or should I direct my call directly to:  Samuel French?

    Thank you!

  • Larrytaylornuc

    I’m in Texas, how do i become eligible for  therapy?     Lord be with you, L. T.

  • June

    I’m in Georgia, how do I become eligible for therapy?

  • Ilena Navarro

    I live in california and would like to know who I can call about this or email plz if anyone knw email me at ilena.navarro@yahoo.com thanks :)

  • Sarah Ellison

    I’ve been using combination Quercitin,monolaurin,and lactoferrin together with high dose garlic extract and now test neg. for hep c that i had 30 years.good luck to all on site.

    • Whitefrizz

      Hello Sarah, what fantastic news for you, my doctors keep putting” still refusing treatment”” on my report as if I don’t appreciate all that they are doing! I would love to try this combination first, my vl is 1,600,000 and am now torn beteween going thro’ the 48 weeks while I am still fit or waiting for “the breakthrough” which is so tantalisingly close but never quite here…and then finding I have deteriorated or am past 65 which is maybe the cut off point here in Spain. I really would appreciate some more details from you if you could e mail me.. whitefrizz@hotmail.com  Iam now 60 .

    • humberto cataño

       Sarah:Congratulations.I can just imagine how happy you must be!!!!.I’m in Colombia and would like to know if quercetin is readily available at natural food stores in the States.

      • Doriskrns

        yes, it is available

    • Sdecor

      Thank you for the information Sarah!  Please let me know how much of each you are taking how many times a day.  Thank YOU!

    • Hilocharles

      what doseage did you take? how often? so appreciate a reply, Mahalo.

    • Motelman55

      What are the dosages? You have given alot of people hope,thank you.

    • Donnaco

      Would you e-mail me the dosage of the natural meds you are taking .  donnaco@sbcglobal.net  Thank You Donna

    • Doriskrns

      Did you also change your diet?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/J7QWAJBW6B4RRZ3BOPJPPWQBDM Billy

      what dosage quercetin, monolaurin,lactoferrin and garlic extract?

    • Livio Brown

      my doctor is at ucla for my hep c you take 500mg once day like i do :)1

    • Nomi Johnson

      Ms. Ellison,

      As you can see there are many people who would like to have the answer to your dosing information and I am certainly one of them.  Please give the information on this site if you would be so kind and I would love to hear from you at the email, nomijohn@hotmail.com.  I have tried standard and had and had an adverse reaction after six months of agonizing debility, so I am no longer a candidate for any kind of interferon therapy and maybe riboviran as they were not sure which drug it was that had the most negative effects.  I would be eternally grateful for you reply and I’m sure everyone else would as well.  Thank you.  Nomi Johnson

      • June

        I too am very interested in the dosing amounts and timing.  I am in stage 3 liver disease, have Crohn’s disease which is a contraindication for any of the available treatments.  I also would love to hear from you at jbreuninger@windstream.net.

    • Rusty

      Dear Sarah,

      I would love to know more about doses and amounts. I’ll help pass it on. You might have an Idea how I could help.
      Yours
      Rusty

    • Virgwenzel

      sarak, like everyone else, I would like to know the doses. maybe you could send it to this news letter. other wise: virgwenzel@hotmail.com.  but there are probably so many of us, a letter to the news letter may help.

    • Eric

      i have it too  how much of each supplement di you use

    • Titus

      Hello Sarah,

      I am going to suggest my dad to start your formula. However I was wondering what was the high does of garlic extract you used. Please will you let us at afetahu@yahoo.com. Thank you.

    • Upnorth1702@yahoo.com

      Upnorth1702@yahoo.com is it before and after meals or either

    • Brama

      Sarah, do you know what type of Hep you had?

    • turnpost

      Sara, do you have cirrhosis also?

  • Whick

    Where is this  obtained? I don’t do Dr’s.

  • adaiba

    MY DEAR FRIENDS,

     I STOPPED TREATMENT AT 42 WEEKS. IT JUST DIDN’T WORK. I CRUMBLED UNDER THE STRAIN OF THE VIRUS AND FEAR. I COULD NOT WORK ANY MORE. MY SISTER ADVISED ME TO COME HOME FOR HERBAL STUFF. I WAS NOT CONVINCED. I TOLD HER THAT I WILL HAVE TO SAVE UP. SHE SAID IN THE MEAN TIME, EAT A LOT OF BITTER KOLA. I BOUGHT AND STARTED EATING 6 A DAY. MIRACULOUSLY, MY ENERGY IMPROVED. LESS PAINS. AM BACK AT FULL TIME WORK. PLEASE  GOOGLE BITTER KOLA AND PLEASE TRY IT. I WAS OPERATING AT 5%. NOW AM 85% AND ENJOYING LIFE AGAIN.PLEASE SEE IF IT WILL WORK FOR YOU WHILE WE WAIT FOR A CONVINCING BREAKTHROUGH. IT IS CHEAP. PLEASE TRY IT. YOU MAY CALL ME BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT I DON’T SELL BITTER KOLA.THANKS AND GOD BLESS

    • Webstuff1954

      Where do you get the bitter kola?

  • Maidofstone

    Are there trials being done in the DC area that I can join?  I have put my name on every list I can find but never get any response.

    • Cjg

      Tried clinicaltrials.gov? I know there’s access through the Hepa dept. @ Mercy in Baltimore. Still, I have not been accepted into any one of them

  • Barb112239

    I am in California, is this “quercetin” available? Where, in health food stores, by prescription?

    • Doriskrns

      You can buy Quercetin at The Vitamin Store 

  • Dave campbell

    Hi Sara. I am in Michigan, what were your doses and where did you get them? I did the one year treatment and it about killed me only to come three mo. later Please let me know at    davecamp10@aol.com.  It would be a God send to shed this

  • Livio Brown

    OH FORGOT MY DOCTOR IS LEADING HEP C DOCTOR AT UCLA AND THIS IS WERE I BUY MY PILLS AND THE DOES BEEN ON OT FOR 3YEARS NOW http://www.amazon.com/Solaray-Quercetin-Non-Citrus-500-capsules/dp/B000TMFR84

    • turnpost

      Hi Livio, happy that your doctor is at ucla. They are starting trials for Quercitin there. So your Dr. has you take 500 mg. quercitin 1 time a day and you have been on that dose for 3 years? Are you seeing any progress? Thanks, turnpost

  • John

    I’m waiting for Sarrah to answer Naomi’s question. Dosing is critical. Combinations work best when taken in the right mixture. While taking things that are good for you offers some benefit it’s best to know the correct mixture and frequency of the dosing to get the optimal affect. 

  • Tess

    For more than 10 yrs. now, a little before every meal, I’ve been taking 2 / 250 mg capsules (total 500mg.) of Swanson Premium Brand Quercetin (250 caps / $18.99 or 100 caps/$7.89), that is also teamed with a total of 250 mg. of Bromelain in two caps.  They help me deal with several problems.  So, I’m absolutely thrilled to learn that it may also have been fighting my Hep C all this time.  I’ve gone the supplement route for liver health, because, like so many of you, I’ve been trying to hold out for the next generation of drugs that will work without the use of interferon and ribavirin.  

    So, for those who want to know where they can obtain Quercetin, as well as, the monolaurin and lactoferrin, I think, they are all available at two online supplement companies that I’ve been buying from for some time now.  The best prices can be had at a company named, Swanson Health Products.  Their tollfree # is 1-800-437-4148, 24/7, or you can go online to them at http://www.swansonvitamins.com, and peruse their huge selection of products. Swanson is my 1st choice “go to” company. 

    My second favorite is Vitacost.  They take orders by phone, but it’s not as easy as with Swanson, and I often have to wait on hold a long time.  So, the easiest way to order from them is online at http://www.vitacost.com.  They have many of the same products as Swanson, and a number of them that that Swanson doesn’t carry, but I’ve found that reverse is also true for Swanson. However, either company is reliable and offer the best prices I’ve been able to find anywhere on a regular basis.  On a once in awhile basis – you might want to check out Amazon.  They sometimes have things I can’t find at the other two companies above. Go figure!  Anyway, I wish the very best of luck to all of you!  I hope this info helps.  

    • artic

      Your experience may be an interseting comparison to Sarah’s experience with Hep C, as you have both been taking a similar course of treatment . Have you tested recently? Sarah has indicated she tested negative for Hep c. Are you experiencing similar results? I am a holdout also but running out of time. By the way I appreciate You and Sarah sharing this. I would like to hear from eithor of you.. artic444@gmail.com

  • buzorro

    I noticed that Ms. Cutler referred to Hep C as a ‘serious liver disease.’  I hate to nitpick, but it’s a virus that can lead to a serious liver disease.  I’ve been using herbs and vitamin supplements to treat my own Hep C infection for five years now and my oncologist encourages me to keep doing what I am doing because the growth rate of infection was stabilized within six months of my self-treatment.

    Two recent items worth noting:

    … 
    The CDC (US Centers for Disease Control)
    states that of those that develop chronic Hepatitis C approximately
    8-28% will develop cirrhosis over a period of 20-30 years. Also, of
    those infected with chronic Hepatitis C only about 2-7% will die from
    cirrhosis or liver cancer which is a profound bit of information to all
    Hepatitis C patients (especially the newly diagnosed).

  • Sarah Ellison

    Thanks for your response.Here are the doses: 500mgquercitin,500mgmonolaurin,750mg lacoferrin,500mg garlic extract  3 times day 1hr before food,2hrs after food,.Monolaurin can be taken up to 2,400mg 3 divided doses.Monolaurin removes fatty sheath surrounding virus.Hep c virus cloaks itself with sheath so immune system can’t recognise it and therefore eradicate it,unlike other uncloaked viruses ie cold.when fatty sheath is removed you need something strong that is anti viral to work with immune system ie lactoferrin,garlic and or olive leaf.lactoferrin stops virus entering cells.quercitin works in similar and other ways to eradicate virus.I only found out i had Hep C two years ago after contracting it from transfusion 30 yrs.ago.I wish you every success,if i can do it so can you.It took 8 months in all. Best wishes  Sarah

  • Sarah Ellison

    ps I live U.K. obtained my supplements from Nutricentre on line.I did change my diet too,No red meat,lots of fish,organic chicken,no sugar,moderate amount olive oil,only 2 eggs week,just  general healthy eating.Lacoferrin,750mg in total,divided into 3 250 mg.doses.

    • Virgwenzel

      Thank you so much for the information, I knew it could be cured with natural compounds. How/where did you get your insight and figure out the doses. This information should be sent to UCLA, hopefully they would listen and not be bought by the Pharm cos. Thank you again.

    • Nomi Johnson

      Hello Sarah,

      Thank you very much for your information.  I was also wondering where or how you got your information and was wondering if you were in the health field because your information is so detailed.  So why are you still on this site so much?  Or do you want to help others? Nomi

    • hj33

      Hi Sarah,

      Any suggestions for an alternative to the lactoferrin?  I have stainable iron that showed up in biopsy. Lactoferrin increases iron-binding and I need the opposite.  I will try the other 3 in combo, but would appreciate suggestion for replacement of lactoferrin.  Your knowledge of alternatives is impressive.

      Thanks
      hj33

    • Jane Plane

      Sarah – Could you please clarify the exact doses you used? IS it 500mg quercetin 3 times a day, total 1500, 500mg monolaurin 3 times a day, total 1500, and 500 mg garlic extract 3 times a day, total 1500? Or is it just 500mg of each once a day. You gave the exact dose of lactoferrin as 250mg, 3 times a day, total 750mg. I was unclear on the others.

  • Sarah Ellison

    In reply: I’ve worked in the holistic health field for thirty years and also in research.I read and researched alli could about the nature of viruses,and in particular why the hep c virus couldn’t be removed by the immune system like a cold virus.When i learnt hep c cloaked itself,the next step was to find a substance that would remove this,and what anti virals would eradicate the virus and aid immune system in this.Then i put what i’d learnt into practice,when i saw my levels considerably lessen i knew it would be just a matter of time before completely cleared.Hope this is helpful, best wishes Sarah

  • Sarah Ellison

    read about bitter cola bein suggested, some contraindications,not good for diabetics or any degree of alzheimers etc,good to check all contraindicatons on line for all supplements as many can be harmful as well as beneficial under certain circumstances and conditions.

    • Marina

      Thank you very much for sharing information,
      I would like to know how can be deteced time when pearson was infected?My doctores said that it is not detectable….

      • Sarah Ellison

        In reply: i knew i could only have contracted hep c through transfusion i had 30 yrs.earlier,that’s how i knew it had been so long .My consultant said results showed not recent.Best wishes  Sarah

  • Littlesky9

    I think one also has to take into account,that what dosage works one one person,may not work for others,  example
    ,in new cance/disease  treatments,researchers have found,that the standard treatment for certain diseases/cancer is not the same for everyone..some procedures/treatments work best for one group, and then do not work at all for the other group…I think the best thing to do, is experiement, and do what feels right for “you” one has to take into account, lifestyle,genes,family history, and lets remember,were not here to stay…Iam 62 living with hepc…when its my time,i’d rather just go..no heroics…hey but thats my 2 cents…sure, you want to stay as alive and healthy as you can..but just live the best you can, heres also something to look into…sabre science labs,they do saliva tests,and tell you were you are in your hormones etc, in 2009 they told me to take the quercetin (hep c) and they have this wonderful ImagT 39.00 wonderful stuff (magnesium) you have to try it..and I take this bio-cream pm for sleep…75.00 wonderful…nothing like a good refreshing sleep…no hangover, its made especially for you    “saliva test” about 200.00 with the neuro panel believe its 250.00 or 300.00.

  • Laurieblath130

    Where do you get this Quercetin?

  • Steve

    Has anybody ever had autoimmune hep coupled with hep c? Apparently that’s what I’ve got. The last biopsy showed my immune system attacking the healthy cells in my liver and causing inflammation of the bile ducts. I’ve already got genotype 3a, stage 1but the treatment for the autoimmune hep is drop your immune system with prednisone  while I’ve been doing everything possible to build it up. This is like fighting two battle while being at war with yourself. Any thoughts or comment would be much appreciated. 

  • Danny_c0404

    THESE ALSO HAVE RESEARCH BEHIND THEM FOR KILLING AND OR CUTTING OFF THINGS HEP-C NEEDS TO REPLICATE WITH THE OPC’s IN BLUEBERRY LEAF EXTRACT OR PINE BARK,GRAPESEED EXTRACT ,GOOD OILS GRAPESEED OIL,COCONUT OIL,OLIVE OIL. OPC IS SHORT FOR Proanthocyanidin from blueberry leaves suppresses expression of
    subgenomic hepatitis C virus RNA.
    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/proanthocyanidin-blueberry-leaves-suppresses-expression-hepatitis-c-virus-rna
    GREEN TEA EXTACT THE CATECHINS ECGC SHUTTING DOWN HEPC
    http://search.avg.com/?d=4e225fa7&i=23&tp=ab&nt=1&snd=did&q=GREEN+TEA+EXTRACT+KILLS+HEPATITIS+C
    narraginin bioflovornoid from red grapefruit lowers vldl cholesterol that hep=c needs to replicate with ,,clinical study  says lowers viral load  up to 75+%

  • IFY

    My Dr refused to add  Telepravir to retreat me because I have type 4. He said there is no evidence to show it will work. My argument is that there is no evidence to show it will not work either. Why he wants me to have the same treatment I stopped at 42 weeks is beyond me. Am due to start on the 8/5/12. Am very reluctant since my better kola has helped me a lot and am embarking on Sarah’s suggestion.

    Please I need Your advice

  • Al Simmons

    i began the monolaurin/lactoferrin treatment two months ago.  the rash on my chest i got from interferon five years ago, the rash that cannot be scratched, has cleared up.  a rash is a virus.  i’ve got more energy.  i am optimistic.  al

  • artic

    Sarah I finally tried your treatment and after 3 months I had a 50% drop in VL. I am going to continue for another three and get tested again.

  • Artic

    Has anyone tried Sarah’s treatment?
    Did you achieve success?

    • Jane Plane

      I have been following Sarah’s treatment for several months now and added blueberry leaf extract and decaf mega green tea extract. VL has gone from over 13 mil to just under 2 mil. I am continuing and will test again in a few months and post results here.