Currently on the market, we hear of many natural Hepatitis B
Let's look at a few and discuss their impact on the body.
Milk Thistle: This herb is known to
increase liver cell metabolism. This means that all the
cellular processes that occur in the liver cell on a regular
basis are up-regulated when taking this supplement. For
example, if the liver cell is required to make a certain
protein, this herb will increase the efficiency of that
process by increasing the speed of production. This does not
necessarily mean it will increase the responsiveness of
one's immune system and cure infected cells; however, it can
help the liver in certain conditions.
Liv52: The combination of herbs found in
this supplement is said to contain potent antioxidant
properties. Its marketers claim that it can neutralize all
kinds of toxins and poisons from food, water, air, and
medication. However, does it chemically stop hepatitis B virus from
replicating? The simple answer to this question is No. Remember, the human body produces its own
antioxidants and we obtain antioxidants, similar to the ones
found in this supplement, on a regular basis through our
This is by-far the most promising
natural cure for chronic hepatitis B. According to several studies, this
plant (herb) is said to have curative properties by suppressing
transcription of hepatitis B virus messenger RNA (mRNA)
(Ott et al., 1997).
It does this by inhibiting hepatitis B virus enhancer I
activity. Within the virus' genome, there are enhancer
regions where enhancer-binding proteins, called
transcription factors, attach to and allow the
virus' DNA to
be copied. In other words, these transcription factors "enhance" the
viral replication process by binding to these enhancer DNA
sequences. This herb
down-regulates transcription of hepatitis B virus mRNA (the
precursor of viral proteins)
by a specific mechanism involving the interactions between hepatitis B virus
enhancer I region and transcription factors (Figure 5) (Ott et
al., 1997). Said differently, this
natural chemical compound blocks the binding of
transcription factors with enhancer DNA, and as a
result, prevents the production of hepatitis B mRNA.
Other studies have shown that an aqueous extract
of Phyllanthus amarus inhibits
endogenous hepatitis B viral polymerase and
binds to the surface antigen of hepatitis B
virus in vitro (Venkateswaran et al.,
1987). Compared to most FDA approved hepatitis B treatments such as
Entecavir, this herb is
The biochemical effect of
on DNA regulation. Click to
Yoga: A waste of time.
Moreover, if you are taking FDA approved medicine based on
the science of interrupting DNA replication, such as entecavir
or adefovir dipivoxil, you should not expect to be
cured after your next blood test. However, these drugs are
very effective at halting the spread of the virus in the
liver and should generally help the recipient live a long, normal life. The only
drawback is that these drugs must be taken daily and that
the virus, depending on its strength and strain, could
eventually find other ways to replicate and resist the
medicine. Since these drugs are nucleotide-based, one could
also experience an increase in uric acid production (a
by-product of nucleotide metabolism), resulting in the
production of sodium urate - the main cause of renal stones. Over a long period
of time, a buildup of sodium urate destructs the kidneys,
preventing them from effectively filtering out the blood.
This is why the kidneys are constantly monitored when a
person takes these drugs. Overall, since the positives
heavily outweigh the negatives (i.e. liver cancer versus
possible kidney stones production), as long as you can
afford these drugs, you should have
nothing to worry about.
Baron, S. (1996). Medical Microbiology (4th ed.).
Büchen-Osmond C. (2006). Hepadnaviridae: The
Universal Virus Database. ICTVdB Management.
Accessed on: November 02, 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ICTVdb/ICTVdB.
Buendia, M.A. (1998). Hepatitis B viruses and
carcerogenesis.Biomedicine & Pharmacotherary,
Langley, D.R., Walsh, A.W. et al.
(2007). Inhibition of Hepatitis B Virus
Polymerase by Entecavir. Journal of Virology,
Ott, M. Thyagarajan, S.P., & Gupta, S. (1997)
Phyllanthus amarus suppresses hepatitis
B virus by interrupting interactions between HBV
enchancer I and cellular transcription factors.
European Journal of Clinical Investigations,
Venkateswaran, P.S., Millman, I, & Blumberg,
B.S. (1987). Effects of an extract from
Phyllanthus niruri on hepatitis B and
woodchuck hepatitis viruses: in vitro and in
vivo studies. The Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, 84(1):