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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Vitamin D3 could save your life, pretty much.

What we have here is the full-text of a very good review paper on vitamin D and liver disease, including chronic Hep C, on the Hepatitis C Research and News blog.
The review is from the latest Journal of Hepatology.
This is good stuff, very thorough, and lacking the usual "vitamin D can be toxic, so you should be too scared to take our advice" hand-wringing that usually weakens the message when it trickles down to the Hep C community through the usual suspects.
All the fat-soluble vitamins are critical for surviving viral hepatitis, especially retinol, D3 and K2 (sourcing extra vitamin E in the diet is less important if the dietary fats are relatively saturated, but tocopherols and tocotrienols may be useful as part of an antioxidant regime). Selenium - a mineral needed to prevent peroxidation of fats - and carotenoids, which require fats for absorption, are also protective factors, but carotenoids are not a substitute for retinol.

See Plasma Selenium Levels and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma among Men with Chronic Hepatitis Virus Infection for some population data on selenium, retinol and carotenoids. Although tocopherol - vitamin E - made no impression in these stats, the best dietary sources of tocopherol are exactly the oils high in linoleic acid - vegetable omega 6 - that promote liver fibrosis; so there may yet be a protective effect of tocopherol that is cancelled out by the context of the foods that are supplying it in this study. Vitamin E is necessary for maximizing the conversion of carotenoids to retinol.
Vitamin K2:

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