My husband got better through a combination of medical care and his own experimentation, and everything we did, INCLUDING seeing doctors... WAS AT OUR OWN RISK. When you are in stage 4 cirrhosis, just about everything you do can be a risk. It is your responsibility to look up EVERY SINGLE MEDICATION AND SUPPLEMENT you are on, and be fully aware of their side effects. I recommend you do this through WebMD - you can go to their database by CLICKING HERE.
(UPDATE 5/15/15): Please note that Jake is no longer taking any of the supplements on this page, except for the Vitamin D3 and Detox Water, because he is doing so well, he doesn't feel that he needs them. However I want to keep them here because I think you might want to know about them! Every little bit of info helps. The Water seems to work very well as a way to reduce scar tissue
To learn more about the water please go to THIS PAGE.
I wanted to make a page that listed what I consider to be the most important supplements, when it comes to reducing or breaking down fibrosis (scar tissue) in the liver, or reducing the inflammation that causes it. Please note that I will be adding to this list as I learn of new things that may help. I welcome suggestions from anyone who has had a positive experience in reducing liver fibrosis through a supplement.
The ones I have been able to find, which do this, are below. You can click on the links to see the type I bought for my husband. I decide which ones to buy, based on cost/value, reviews, and whether or not I will be able to get the hubby to take them (for example, it's a lot easier to get him to take 2 vitamin D pills that are 5,000 IU each, than 5 pills that are 2,000 IU each).
I am also made a page of Super Nutrient Supplements that help REBUILD the liver (not just break down scar tissue). You can see that list by clicking HERE. Always keep in mind, the liver (more than any other organ) has the ability to regenerate. Keep saying it like a mantra (and take good care of your health). The liver has the ability to regenerate. The liver has the ability to regenerate.
Please note that I am NOT a doctor, I'm NOT an expert on these supplements by any means, I have just done a lot of research and you are going to have to do the same. I'm just hoping to cut down some of the time you have to spend, looking for supplements that reduce scar tissue. Now that you know what they are, it's up to you to decide whether they are right for you.
Please note also that I believe it is important to monitor these "scar tissue reducing" supplements carefully, as some of them could make your blood thin. I have heard that Serrapeptase can cause bleeding (read the reviews to see what people say). I have also found that Astragalus (when I've taken it) makes my blood pretty thin. For example, if I cut myself, there will be about twice as much blood as usual. I still, personally, believe the supplements are worth taking, and that the benefits probably far outweigh the risks, but if you're going to take them, you need to monitor yourself and your body very carefully!
If you have cirrhosis of the liver, you are at a higher risk of bleeding in your esophagus or stomach, which can be fatal. And chances are good that your doctor will have prescribed some kind of antacid to reduce your risk of bleeding. HOWEVER, I firmly believe that you may be able to reduce your chances of "bleeding problems" by drinking ALOE VERA JUICE on a regular basis, taking a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar per day, and taking probiotics. Or by drinking detox water, which appears to be even stronger. Maybe this is just my opinion based on what I've read, but it seems to have worked very well for my husband. His esophagus looked GREAT when he had it examined way back in December, no bleeding varices and he was drinking Aloe and taking probiotics daily. You can read about Aloe Vera, and how it is beneficial for people with acid reflux and indigestion problems (which will likely be the case if you have cirrhosis) by CLICKING HERE. Please note also that ANTACIDS LIKE OMEPRAZOLE AND PANTOPRAZOLE ARE COMMONLY PRESCRIBED BY DOCTORS, TO PREVENT BLEEDING, BUT THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO TELL YOU THAT THESE ARE DANGEROUS TO TAKE IF YOU HAVE CIRRHOSIS, AS THEY CAN CAUSE FURTHER INFLAMMATION / SCARRING OF THE LIVER AND ACTUALLY MAKE YOUR CONDITION WORSE IN THE LONG RUN!!! And they are unlikely to ever recommend Aloe Vera Juice, which has no known side effects and is proven to help reduce acid reflux problems. You can read more about that by clicking HERE.
Supplements that break down scar tissue (click on the name if you want to see the type I buy on Amazon or read the reviews). Just scroll down the page to see the information I found, that shows these supplements may reduce fibrosis.
Detox Water (in my opinion this made a big difference in his Fibroscan score, based on what I saw with my husband, and a medical study I'd seen)
Serrapeptase * (He did this for a few months but stopped... more written below) If you're going to take Serrapeptase, you need to be aware it could have side effects, so please read THIS POST.
Nattokinase (He did this for a few months)
Astragalus** (I put this in his shakes)
Turmeric/Curcumin (I put this in his shakes)
Salvia Miltiorrhiza**(I crush this up and put it in his shakes, as it has a strong smell and I don't think he'd be able to swallow it in pill form).
Vitamin D3 (he takes this on his own, about 6 caps per day, or 2 of THESE)
Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract (have not ordered this yet but will soon)
Modified Citrus Pectin (Fractionated Pectin Powder) (about a tsp in his shake)
Vitamin C (Crystals) (I use powder so I can put it in his shakes)
Vitamin E (Note Jake has not taken this yet, though it was in his Visalus supplements)
Astaxanthin (Just found out about this one - this is the type I will get)
Ji Xue Teng I used to put this powder in his shakes.
Please note that, although PROBIOTICS are not on this list, I believe every person with cirrhosis could benefit from them. Not only can they cut your risk for encephalopathy in HALF (saw this in a study), but they can also make your stomach feel MUCH better and help prevent you from having to take PPI's (Aloe juice + Apple Cider Vinegar + Probiotics should help your stomach heal). Please note that if your doctor has you taking Proton Pump Inhibitors (like Prilosec, Nexium, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, etc) for your stomach acid/indigestion / heartburn / acid reflux, etc., this can cause SCARRING OF THE LIVER. Even the FDA warns against taking PPI's for more than 6 weeks. Yes PPI's can keep your stomach from bleeding and if you're at a high risk for this type of bleeding the benefits may outweigh the risks, but your doctor probably hasn't told you that there ARE risks with taking PPI's, and I thought you should know about them. You can read more about the dangers of PPI's by clicking HERE.
Here is a little more information about some of the supplements, pasted below:
Although I may not have absolute proof of WHAT caused his fibroscan to show he is down to Stage 2 liver disease, and the fact that he has FIBROSIS, not cirrhosis, in my opinion this water was a critical factor. After he drank it he seemed to have better blood flow and circulation, reduced ammonia levels, his sleep improved, his energy improved (after he drank it he wanted to see how fast he could run a mile) and it's also recommended by thousands of doctors (NOT in the US). You can learn a little more about the water by clicking HERE.
Please note that we just did this for a few months, and stopped, due to the fact that I was worried Jake could be experiencing side effects from it (some Amazon reviewers had mentioned side effects) but I want to point out that those side effects could EASILY have been from the Proton Pump Inhibitors he was taking, and NOT the Serrapeptase. Basically, I was concerned that Jake's eyes were starting to look MORE sunken in as time progressed, while I had no idea that the Proton Pump Inhibitor (Pantoprazole... which is an acid blocker) he was taking was actually causing MORE scarring of the liver while he was taking it. So I don't want to give Serrapeptase a bad rap when it actually could have been just fine, we just don't know because he was taking the PPIs at the same time. Please, please read my post about proton pump inhibitors (aka Prilosec, Nexium, The Purple Pill, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, Prevacid... any type of acid blocker... if you have cirrhosis you MUST know about these).
(from this page):
An especially powerful enzyme is serrapeptase, which is a proteolytic enzyme derived from a species of bacteria originally found in the intestines of silkworms. The bacteria Serratia marcescens E1 produces Serrapeptase, an enzyme that enables the silkworm to dissolve its tough cocoon and emerge as the silkworm moth. Serratia is produced by fermented cultures. Studies have shown that serrapeptase reduces scar tissue, improves tissue healing and significantly reduces inflammation.
You can read more about it HERE.
In clinical studies, Serrapeptase has been shown to break down clots (fibrinolysis), reduce inflammation, and reduce swelling due to fluid retention (edema), but the biggest reason to choose Serrapeptase is to reduce pain. Serrapeptase is able to block the release of pain-inducing amines from inflamed tissues, providing welcome relief to people (and animals) suffering from chronic pain.
This one had really good reviews:
iSerra 250,000 SPU: 1 Best Recommended Serrapeptase Supplement - 250,000 SPU Per Capsule - Maximum Potency - 90 Delayed Release Capsules - Promotes Overall Body Health - 30 Days Money Back Guarantee.
This brand Ultimate Bio-Fibrin ® also seems to have good reviews.
From this page
An anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory drug that has been approved for use with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in other countries has failed to receive approval in the US. While conventional medicine has yet to find a solution to reverse pulmonary fibrosis, systemic enzyme therapy provides hope. Used safely for more than 50 years, systemic enzymes are a natural and effective way to improve the body’s overall response to injury, providing a first line of defense against inflammation.
Serrapeptase and nattokinase are powerful systemic enzymes that act upon protein-based complexes, such as the fibrin that makes up scars, at and around damaged tissue. Nattokinase is particularly effective because it enhances the body's natural ability to fight excess fibrin deposits in several different ways. It dissolves fibrin directly and appears to enhance the body's natural production of both plasmin and other clot-dissolving enzymes. Additionally, research shows serrapeptase significantly reduces the viscosity of mucus in the lungs and nasal passageways, improving airflow.
Systemic enzyme blends which include these powerful proteases can be made a part of an aggressive and continual approach to combatting pulmonary fibrosis. Maintaining a highly therapeutic enzyme program with proper breathing exercises can help control and even reduce many of the problems associated with fibrosis.
Being involved in your own treatment and staying as healthy as possible are essential to living with interstitial lung disease.
Circumin Could Delay Liver Damage, Cirrhosis
Researchers in Austria decided to study diseases of the bile duct stating: "Chronic cholangiopathies (bile duct diseases) have limited therapeutic options and represent an important indication for liver transplantation. Curcumin, the yellow pigment of the spice turmeric, has pleiotropic (multiple effect) actions and attenuates hepatic damage in animal models of chemically-induced liver injury. Whether curcumin has beneficial effects in cholangiopathies is unknown." Thus, the study was undertaken.
When the liver’s bile ducts swell, scar and become blocked, irreversible and usually fatal cirrhosis and liver damage can develop. Genetic predisposition, disease, excessive alcohol intake or injury can lead to this condition. In the study, curcumin was administered to lab mice for periods of four to eight weeks. These mice were given chemically induced liver injuries, and those with curcumin diets had significantly reduced liver damage. Specifically, it improved the condition known as sclerosing cholangitis, an autoimmune disorder.
Curcumin was thought to have multiple effects, all of which influenced the beneficial results for liver health. One effect was the inhibition of signal pathways necessary for inflammation to occur, slowing the progress of scarring which leads to reduced bile duct blockage and liver cell (hepatocyte) damage.
The authors of the study commented that since the standard treatment for liver disease, other than transplantation, involves an acid whose long-term effects are unknown, curcumin presents an exciting alternative in need of further study.
This one had the highest reviews on Amazon:
Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine 1500mg. Highest Potency Available. Premium Pain Relief & Joint Support with 95% Standardized Curcuminoids. Non-GMO, Gluten Free Turmeric Capsules with Black Pepper
We have been giving away a box of the highest quality Turmeric, for people who get water and PEMF machines from us (this particular type is SUPER strong and retails for $90 a box). If you want to see the results that Ricky got with his edema, CLICK HERE.
Hemodynamic effects of Salvia miltiorrhiza on cirrhotic rats.
Effect of Dashen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) Injection on Pre-thrombotic State of Chronic Hepatitis B with Cirrhosis
[Influence of Salvia miltiorrhizae and Astragalus membranaceus on hemodynamics and liver fibrosis indexes in liver cirrhotic patients with portal hypertension].
What is Cpd 861 (Compound 861)?
Rats with experimental liver fibrosis showed a 50% reduction of the 5-fold increased hepatic collagen level when cpd 861 was administered daily by gavage. This was accompanied by a comparable down-regulation of hepatic messenger RNA for transforming growth factor 1 and for procollagens I, III, and IV, as well as by increased hepatic collagenase activity. Because procollagen messenger RNAs, major effectors of liver fibrogenesis, were also down-regulated in cultures of hepatic stellate cells, a direct antifibrotic effect was proposed. From 1993 to 1995, 60 patients with chronic hepatitis B were treated in an open trial with cpd 861. After 2 years, subjective improvement was reported by 50 patients (83%), and this was accompanied by a reduction in spleen size in 41% and a decrease in liver enzyme levels and serum fibrosis markers such as PIIINP and laminin. In a nonrandomized controlled trial, 22 patients with chronic hepatitis B were treated with cpd 861 for 6 months and compared with 12 matched patients receiving a control herbal medicine.
Follow-up liver biopsy results showed a statistically significant improvement in both histological inflammation and fibrosis in the cpd 861 group but no change in the control subjects.
New findings: The anti-fibrotic mechanism of plant extract Cpd 861
[The effect of Cpd 861 on chronic hepatitis B related fibrosis and early cirrhosis: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial].
Vitamin D3You can read more about Vitamin D, and how it helps fibrosis, by clicking HERE. But here are the
- basic highlights:
- Now, in a new study published in the journal Cell, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studieshave discovered that a synthetic form of vitamin D, calcipotriol (a drug already approved by the FDA for the treatment of psoriasis), deactivates the switch governing the fibrotic response in mouse liver cells, suggesting a potential new therapy for fibrotic diseases in humans."Because there are currently no
effective drugs for liver fibrosis, we believe our findings would open a new door for treatment," says
senior author Ronald M. Evans, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory and lead researcher
in the Institute's new Helmsley Center for Genomic Medicine.The Salk study focused on a star-shaped
"stellate" cell in the liver that serves as a beacon for damage. When called into action, stellate cells
produce fibrotic proteins in an attempt to heal an injury. Under chronic stress, however, localized
fibrosis expands, eventually leading to cirrhosis, increased risk of liver cancer, and the need for a liver
transplant in advanced cases.The Evans lab discovered a genetic switch through which vitamin D-related
ligands such as calcitriol, a hormonally active form of the vitamin, can put the brakes on fibrosis.
"Preclinical results suggest the 'vitamin D brake' is highly efficacious and led us to believe that the time
is right to consider a trial in the context of chronic liver disease," says Evans, a Howard Hughes Medical
Institute Investigator and holder of the March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology.
Previous studies have shown a physiologic role for vitamin D in liver function, but "it was our discovery
of high levels of vitamin D receptor (VDR) in the stellate cell that led us to consider it as a possible off
switch for liver fibrosis," says lead author Ning Ding, a research associate in the Gene Expression
Laboratory."Current therapeutic approaches, which treat the symptoms of liver disease, don't stop liver
fibrosis from progressing," says Michael Downes, a senior staff scientist in the Gene Expression
Laboratory and co-corresponding author on the paper. "In liver diseases where the underlying cause
cannot be cured, progression to cirrhosis is currently inevitable in some people. What we have
discovered is that by acting on the genome, VDR can simultaneously defend against multiple fibrotic
activators. This is important because many different pro-fibrotic signaling pathways converge on the
genome to affect their fibrotic response."The Salk discovery that calcipotriol counters the fibrotic
response in stellate cells illuminates a potentially safer, more effective strategy capable of neutralizing
multiple convergent fibrotic triggers.The Salk scientists say that clinical trials of the vitamin D analog
for the treatment of liver fibrosis are being planned. The synthetic vitamin D analog is better than natural
vitamin D, they say, for a couple of reasons. First, natural vitamin D, which is found in small amounts
in a few foods and produced in the body by exposure to sunlight, degrades quickly, while synthetic
versions of vitamin D are less susceptible to breakdown. Second, too much natural vitamin D can cause
hypercalcemia, or elevated calcium in the blood, which can lead to nausea and vomiting, frequent
urination, muscle weakness and joint aches and pain. The synthetic vitamin D analog, on the other
hand, produces a strong response without adding calcium to the blood.
Liver fibrosis results from an excessive accumulation of tough, fibrous scar tissue and occurs in most
- types of chronic liver diseases. In industrialized countries, the main causes of liver injury leading to
- fibrosis include chronic hepatitis virus infection, excess alcohol consumption and, increasingly,
- nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
You can read the full article here: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/fibrosis.htm Study 2: Treatment of Liver Fibrosis with Ginkgo Leaf (2)Gingko leaf (see: Ginkgo) is a blood vitalizing herb that has flavonoids and glycosides as active components. In this study, 86 out-patients with chronic hepatitis B were treated either with ginkgo tablets that each contained 2.4 mg ginkgolide and 9.6 mg flavones or with Yiganling Tablet (for which the main active component was silymarin, extract of milk thistle, 35 mg/tablet). The dosing was 10 tablets each time of the ginkgo and 3 tablets each time of the silymarin (silybin), three times daily. In addition, all patients received appropriate medical care that did not include other agents known to have anti-fibrosis activity or immune effects. Treatment time was three months. To determine effect on liver fibrosis, measurements were made of blood content of hyaluronic acid, collagen type IV, laminin, pro-collagen peptide type III, and platelet activating factor (PAF). In addition, some patients underwent liver biopsy.The authors commented: It was found in this study that the serum level of PAF was elevated in patients with chronic hepatic cirrhosis, and in those after anti-fibrosis treatment [the gingko tablets], it could be lowered along with improving of the liver fibrosis in a positively correlated manner, suggesting that PAF participates in the genesis and development of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis.Ginkgo glycoside ß, one of the chief components of ginkgo leaf, is a strong PAF receptor antagonist....It was reported that good effect was obtained by using composite ginkgo leaf granule, containing ginkgo leaf and 9 other Chinese herbs to treat early stage liver fibrosis, with evident improvement in blood level of superoxide dismutase [SOD, a well known antioxidant] and malondialdehyde [MDA, an indicator of lipid peroxidation activity]. It illustrated that the ginkgo preparation has anti-lipid peroxidation effects and can reduce the injury by oxygen free radicals on liver cells. Similar therapeutic effect has also been obtained by the authors by applying the ginkgo preparation in treating acute hepatitis with severe jaundice.Results in this study showed that, after treatment for three months, the clinical effect of ginkgo preparation was markedly superior to that of Yiganling Tablet (silybin)....These results indicate that ginkgo leaf has obvious effects of liver protection, anti-inflammation, and anti-fibrosis, and may even reverse liver fibrosis.
Again, you can see the list of Super Nutrient Supplements that help REBUILD the liver (not just break down scar tissue) by clicking HERE. Always keep in mind, the liver (more than any other organ) has the ability to regenerate. Keep saying it like a mantra (and take good care of your health). The liver has the ability to regenerate. The liver has the ability to regenerate.