GSH and Hepatitis B and C

Nutritional therapy of chronic hepatitis by whey protein (non-heated)
Watanabe A, Okada K, Shimizu Y, Wakabayashi H, Higuchi K, Niiya K, Kuwabara Y, Yasuyama T, Ito H, Tsukishiro T, Kondoh Y, Emi N, Kohri H. [J Med 2000;31(5-6):283-302] In an open study the clinical efficacy of milk serum (whey) protein (cysteine content: 7.6-fold higher than that of casein) isolated from fresh milk and purified without heating was evaluated in 25 patients with chronic hepatitis B or C. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity was reduced, and plasma glutathione (GSH) levels increased in six and five of eight patients with chronic hepatitis B, respectively, 12 weeks after the start of the supplement with Immunocal food. Serum lipid peroxide levels significantly decreased, and interleukin (IL)-2 levels and natural killer (NK) activity significantly increased. However, there were no significant whey protein-related changes in 17 patients with chronic hepatitis C. These findings suggest that the long-term supplementation with whey protein alone may be effective for improving liver dysfunctions in patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Publication Types: Clinical Trial

Lactoferrin* inhibits hepatitis C virus viremia in patients with chronic hepatitis C: a pilot study
Tanaka K, Ikeda M, Nozaki A, Kato N, Tsuda H, Saito S, Sekihara H.
[Jpn J Cancer Res 1999 Apr;90(4):367-71] Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is associated with the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. We recently found that bovine lactoferrin, a milk protein belonging to the iron transporter family, effectively prevented HCV infection in cultured human hepatocytes (PH5CH8). Eleven patients with chronic hepatitis C received an 8-week course of bovine lactoferrin (1.8 or 3.6 g/day). This pilot study suggests that lactoferrin is one potential candidate as an anti-HCV reagent that may be effective for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis.


J Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Apr;39(4):S162-6.  
Mitochondrial dysfunction in hepatitis C.

Korenaga M, Okuda M, Otani K, Wang T, Li Y, Weinman SA.

From the Department of Internal Medicine University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX.

Chronic hepatitis C induces a state of hepatic oxidative stress that is more pronounced than that present in many other inflammatory liver diseases. This review summarizes recent information that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein plays an important role in this phenomenon. Core protein localizes to mitochondria, particularly at the points of contact between mitochondrial outer membrane and endoplasmic reticulum. Its expression causes inhibition of electron transport at complex I, increased complex I reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, decreased mitochondrial glutathione, and increased mitochondrial permeability transition in response to exogenous oxidants and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Possible mechanisms of the core protein effects include direct interaction with electron carriers and indirect effects mediated by changes in mitochondrial calcium. These results suggest that antioxidant approaches may prove beneficial for patients with chronic hepatitis C.

PMID: 15758653 [PubMed - in process]