*Results may vary. The information in this site is NOT to be construed as medical advice. Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious condition and if you have it, you should see a doctor. I am not a doctor and am not able to dispense medical advice. My husband saw a doctor (many of them) and they were able to do things for him that I could not. However, they were unable to recommend alternative treatments that were VERY beneficial to my husband, so I am providing some of that information here. My husband and I tried all of these alternative therapies at our own risk, and if you try them you will be doing the same. At your own risk. No promises are made in this blog. I am not saying there is a cure for cirrhosis or any other condition. However, I believe most people can get well, like my husband did. My husband is alive, happy, productive, functional and has his energy back. He no longer has to take medications and he no longer worries about having to go on disability or getting a $577,000 liver transplant. Cirrhosis is a serious condition. He is currently in the fibrosis stage (Stage 2 liver disease), which is still serious. I cannot guarantee you will have the same results. I just want you to know about what worked well for my husband. I hope you will share what you learned with others, and share your story with us as well. This blog was made for YOU! Thanks for visiting!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dr. Burt Berkson - A Pioneer in the Fight Against Liver Disease

UPDATE August 2015: I just want to point out that it IS possible to get too much of any supplement, including the Berkson protocol. Even Dr. Berkson will acknowledge this, but I want to make sure you guys know this.  If you are going to do this protocol, you should do it carefully, and you should monitor yourself very carefully, and you should still be under a doctor's care.


Dr. Burt Berkson is a true pioneer in the fight against liver disease. I am so grateful to him for his recommendations for the triple therapy that has worked so well for Jake. This man has put his own career on the line and went against traditional (less effective) recommendations by doctors in hospitals, in order to save peoples' lives. Take it from the wife of a man who had stage 4 cirrhosis, a MELD score of 28, and was hospitalized four times over the course of 3 years.... Dr. Berkson's protocol really does work!

His protocol has helped so many people, I personally think we should start a campaign to start telling this man thank you. If you use his protocol and get to experience how helpful it is,  I want to suggest that you take just one minute to send Dr. Berkson a thank you postcard. I have never even met Dr. Berkson but I am forever grateful to him for coming up with something that helps people with liver disease (when most doctors will tell patients there's nothing that can be done). I thought it would be cool for him to start getting random postcards from different places around the world, from people he's never even met, telling him thanks.  I consider it good karma : )

This is his address, if you want to send him a note:

Dr. Berkson recommends a combination of Alpha Lipoic Acid, Selenium and Milk Thistle. The amount that Jake took, based on what I found on the internet, was this regimen below. Please note that even though Jake doesn't have hepatitis, he followed this same protocol, including the Selenium (which is used to suppress viral load). We didn't realize the Selenium part may have been recommended primarily for people with a virus, but either way Jake got great results, so I figure... it probably can't hurt for anyone with cirrhosis to take all 3. Selenium protects the body from oxidative damage and infection, and I heard it is also used as a cancer preventative!

The general protocol (recommended by Whitaker Wellness, based on Dr. Berkson's research) is as follows (according to their webpage):

“Triple therapy” for liver disease consists of the following... PLEASE ALSO SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE SECOND SET OF RECOMMENDATIONS, as the one in he gives in his interview is slightly different.

-Milk Thistle aka Silymarin, 900 mg, and 
-Selenium, 400 mcg (an antioxidant mineral), taken in divided doses twice a day. 
-Alpha-Lipoic Acid, 600 mg  UPDATE 3/4/16: Although my husband never used this type, I was just informed that Dr. Berkson recommends the "R" type of Alpha lipoic acid... like THIS ONE. Thanks for the tip, Debbie. Note: I do not know the amount Dr. Berkson recommends, of the R-type. He may also recommend 600 mg of that but I'm not sure. 600 mg of the regular type is the one my husband used.

IMPORTANT: you have to take a B-complex vitamin when you take ALA, because apparently it depletes B-vitamins from the body.  ALSO PLEASE NOTE, Dr. Berkson states in his interview that he increases the dose gradually over the course of about a week. I did not hear this when he first said it so my husband just started taking the pills without starting low first. He did not appear to suffer from any negative side effects by starting out with a regular dose, but I thought I should point this out. I would think that it would be pretty safe to take 1-2 B complex pills a day since it is water soluble, but keep in mind that when liver function is compromised you could get too much of something. You can read what Dr. Andrew Weil says about B Complex (and whether you can get too much) by clicking HERE.

I strongly recommend you listen to Dr. Berkson's interview yourself, which you can do by CLICKING HERE. 

You can see a transcript of the interview HERE.

I would also strongly recommend drinking Detox Water because it will help you get rid of toxins that are buried deep in your system, and they could make it harder for your liver to heal. It will also likely make the effects of the Berkson protocol even stronger (the water seems to amplify the effects of all supplements).

Please note - in the interview, Dr. Berkson states a recommended amount (for the triple therapy) that is slightly higher than what is on the Whitaker Wellness page, above. Jake took the amount mentioned above, from the Whitaker Wellness page, but now I do wonder if he could have gotten even better results by taking the amount Dr. Berkson mentioned in his interview. I hadn't written it down or compared it with the amount mentioned on the transcript (I just assumed it was the same). In the interview, Dr. Berkson says this is what he prescribes:

-Milk Thistle aka Silymarin 300 mg, 4 to 6 times a day... but Jake was just taking 900 mg daily).
-Selenium, 200–400 mcg (taken in divided doses 2x per day)
-Alpha-Lipoic Acid, 900–1,200 mg  (300 mg, 2 to 3 times per day). Dr. Berkson said if you took too much you could burn out your mitochondria and kill yourself (keep in mind too much of anything, including tap water, can kill you). He said you should never go above 15 mg per kilogram (I assume he means in body weight).  90 mg per kg would kill a primate. (I did a calculation and if my math is correct that means a 50 lb primate could die from 1,980 mg of ALA?... but Dr. Berkson's recommendation is 600-1200 mg per day so if you follow this AND take a B complex vitamin I'm assuming/hoping you should be OK).

If you're used to weighing things in pounds (like I am), you can use this calculator to see what is the max you should take. My husband is about 160 lbs, or 75 kg. When you multiply 75kg x 15mg, that means that, according to Dr. Berkson, he shouldn't go over 1,080 mg. I will admit that is a little confusing to me, since the recommendation in the interview says 900-1200 mg (please listen to the interview on this page for yourself). I should note note that my husband was just doing 600 mg per day, and you will see this description (from the interview) says up to 1200 mg is fine. I am a little confused by that so if you are not sure, either stick with the 600mg or make an appt. to see Dr. Berkson.

UPDATE 3/4/16: Although my husband never used this type, I was just informed that Dr. Berkson recommends the "R" type of Alpha lipoic acid... like THIS ONE. Thanks for the tip, Debbie. Note: I do not know the amount Dr. Berkson recommends, of the R-type. He may also recommend 600 mg of that but I'm not sure. 600 mg of the regular type is the one my husband used.

The Big Three - What they do (from this page)

Selenium: In January 2007, one of the most conservative publications in medicine, The Archives of Internal Medicine, published an article showing that daily selenium supplements appear to suppress the progression of the viral load in patients with HIV infection. It’s also essential for those with hepatitis C. As Berkson told me, “selenium acts as a birth control pill to the virus.”
Milk Thistle: The herb milk thistle is probably the premier liver nutrient. The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which is believed to be responsible for its medicinal qualities. Milk thistle has been used in Europe as a treatment for liver disease since the 16th century.
Alpha-lipoic acid: ALA is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals, protects cells from damage, and helps regenerate vitamins C and E. It’s one of the most powerful liver nutrients available.

In Dr. Berkson's book, The Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthrough, Dr. Julian Whitaker wrote a forward that says many doctors would rather have their patients die, than do something different. Sadly, I have found this to be true. Not one doctor ever bothered to mention alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle or selenium to my husband (they'd rather see him get a $400,000 liver transplant!). But those three simple things, plus a few other natural alternative therapies, worked really well!

Dr. Berkson has a practice in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Here is his contact info:

Integrative Medical Center/NM
1155 Commerce Dr Suite C
Las CrucesNM 88011
(575) 524-3720 

UPDATE 8/28/15:
I recently read that Dr. Berkson published a paper that never saw the light of day in AMERICAN Medical Journals. This doesn't surprise me, as the medical industry loves to recommend transplants. I was once kicked off a discussion forum because I kept suggesting there might be other (better) ways to heal the liver, than to get a transplant. The people on the board who had been waiting forever to get a transplant and were finally close, and the people who'd already had them, did NOT appreciate this, even when I tried to be polite.

The key as to why it might never have been published in the US just might have something to do with the fact that it says: Treatment Program: The author describes a low cost and efficacious treatment program in 3 patients

Americans (and ALL people with liver disease) DESERVE to be able to read this study!!! So, here it is, and thank you to Tony Isaacs for sharing it!

The Berkson Clinical Study

The following paper was written by American physician Dr. Burton Berkson.  Despite his impressive credentials and the important implications of this limited study for possibly saving countless lives and millions of dollars of medical expenses, the results of his work were not published in any American medical journals. The study results were published in Germany’s medical journal "Medizinische Klinik". The article has been transcribed in English but is provided basically unchanged for your review.

Dr. Berkson’s Biography:

Undergraduate and Graduate Education:
BS: Roosevelt University, Chicago (Biology/chemistry)
MD: Autonomous University System, Mexico
MS, Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana (Biological Sciences)

Medical Post Graduate Training:
Internal Medicine Resident (St. Lukes Hopsital, Western Reserve Univ. 77-78)
Pathology resident (Mt. Sinai Hospital, Western Reserve Univ. 78-79
Mini-Residency Obstetrics (University of New Mexico Hospital 1980)
Certification Hypnotherapy ASCH
ACLS Certification

Academic Positions and Responsibilities:
Assist. Professor (Biology, Mycology) Rutgers University 68-72
Assoc, Professor (Biology, Microbiology) Chicago State University 72-74
Visiting Professor Max Planck Institute, Heidelberg 78
Adjunct Professor (applies Biology, EPPWS) New Mexico State Univ., Present
Consultant Mushroom Poisoning (ALA) Center for Disease Control, Atlanta
Toxicology Consultant, New Mexico Poison Control Center
Principal Investigator, FDA, IV Thiocatic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid)
Member, New Mexico Medical/Legal Panel
Member, El Paso Fund Alternative Medicine Committee
Numerous Other Visiting Professorships and Research Associate Positions

Medical Practices:
Integrative Medical Center of New Mexico 1996 – Present
Attending Physician, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico 1989-1997
Emergency room Physician, New Mexico 1979-1988
Private rural family practice, Hobbs & Lovington, New Mexico 1980-1986

Author: "Alpha Lipoic Acid Breakthroughs"
[As published in "Medizinishche Klinik", a German medical journal.]
According to a recent article, the number of adults seeking liver transplants for hepatitis C infection will skyrocket in the next 20 years [11]. About 10,000 Americans die from this disease each year. Deaths are estimated to increase because of the increasing risk of infection, and the resulting cirrhosis, portal hypertension, thrombocytopenia, bleeding from varices, and liver cancer. Five
years ago, 20% of these hepatitis C patients were candidates for liver transplantation and today the number has increased to about 50%.

An estimated 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C and many of them are being evaluated for liver transplant surgery. This expensive process costs roughly $300,000 during the first 3 months, and can be painful and incapacitating. Add to this the thousands of dollars for anti-rejection drugs and the costs of more frequent visits to health care facilities. Of course some people do require liver transplant surgery, however, the author believes that in many cases, an effective alternative therapy exists.

Often, patients with progressive hepatitis C, who seeks a more conservative treatment, prior to surgery present to our facility. These patients are treated with a program that includes and combines alpha-lipoic acid, silymarin and selenium. Most patients recover quickly, however, a few find it difficult to follow a healthy nutritional and lifestyle program, or their condition is so far advanced that they go on to liver transplant surgery. In this paper, the case histories of 3 patients are presented.

Background: There has been an increase in the number of adults seeking liver transplantation for hepatitis C in the last few years and the count is going up rapidly. There is no reliable and effective therapy for chronic hepatitis C since interferon and antivirals work no more than 30% of the time, and liver transplant surgery is uncertain and tentative over the long run. This is because, ultimately, residual hepatitis C viremia infects the new liver. Furthermore, liver transplantation can be painful, disabling and extremely costly.
Treatment Program: The author describes a low cost and efficacious treatment program in 3 patients with cirrhosis, portal hypertension and esophageal varies secondary to chronic hepatitis C infection. This effective and conservative regimen combines 3 potent antioxidants (alpha-lipoic acid [thioctic acid], silymarin, and selenium] that possess antiviral, free radical quenching and
immune boosting qualities.

Conclusion: There are no remarkably effective treatments for chronic hepatitis C in general use, Interferon and antiviral have less than a 30% response rate and because of the residual viremia, a newly transplanted liver usually becomes infected again. The triple antioxidant combination of alpha-lipoic acid, silymarin and selenium was chosen for a conservative treatment of hepatitis C

because these substances protect the liver from free radical damage, increase the levels of other fundamental antioxidants, and interfere with viral proliferation. The 3 patients presented in this paper followed the tripleantioxidant program and recovered quickly and their laboratory values remarkably improved. Furthermore, liver transplantation was avoided and the patients are back at work, carrying out their normal activities, and feeling health. The author offers a more conservative approach to the treatment of
hepatitis C, that is exceedingly less expensive. One year of the triple antioxidant therapy described in this paper costs less than $2,000, as compared to more than $300,000 a year of liver transplant surgery. It appears reasonable, that prior to liver transplant surgery evaluation, or during the transplant evaluation process, the conservative triple antioxidant treatment approach should be considered. If there is a significant betterment in the patient’s condition, liver transplant surgery may be avoided.

Key Words: Hepatitis C – treatment – antioxidant – alpha lipoic acid – thioctic acid – silymarin – selenium
Background: More than 20 years ago, when the author was in medical and pathology training at 2 hospitals inCleveland, Ohio, he was assigned to 6 critical patients who were suffering from acute hepatic necrosis secondary to hepatotoxic mushroom poisoning. He ordered thiocgic acid (alpha-lipoic acid, ALA) from the National Institutes of Health and injected this antioxidant drug into the patients. In spite of their highly threatening condition the patients, as measured by laboratory values and clinical parameters, recovered quickly. Dr. Fred Bartter (then Chief of Hypertension and Endocrinology at the NIH) and the author were astounded by their recoveries and went on to treat many more mushroom poisoning patients. Over the years, the author continued to treat additional patients with other medial conditions using ALA, and observed similar results. The author has recently added silymarin and selenium to the regimen. In this paper he will discuss the use to this triple antioxidant regimen in the management of 3 chronic hepatitis c patients

Patients and Method: The 3 basic antioxidants there were used in this report are alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid), silymarin and selenium (selenomethionine). The alpha-lipoic acid product was manufactured by Asta Medica at Frankfurt Am Main, Germany. The silymarin was a product distributed by NOW Foods of Bloomingdale, Illinois, and the selenium was encapsulated by Metabolic Maintenance Products Inc., of Sisters, Oregon.
The 3 patients were selected at random from a group of approximately 50 chronic hepatitis C charts at the Integrative Medical Center of New Mexico in Las Cruces. Each patient was maintained on a dose of 600 mg. Of alpha-lipoic acid a day in 2 divided portions of 300 mg. each. The silymarin dose was 900 mg. Per day in 3 divided portions of 300 mg. The selenomethiomine dose was 400 mcg in 2 divided portions of 200 mcg.
Because alpha-lipoic acid depletes some of the B vitamins, the patients were prescribed 2 B-100 capsules a day. In addition, each patient also took between 1,000 and 6,000 mg. Of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, and a mineral supplement. The patients were also requested to eat a daily diet that included at least 6 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits, only 4 oz or less of meat per meal, and 8 glasses of fresh water. It was also suggested that the patients reduce their stress levels, and take part in an exercise program that included at least a 1-mile walk 3 times a week.

The patients followed the nutritional supplement program carefully, however, it is not clearly known whether the other regimens were correctly followed.


Mrs. M.P. is a 57-year-old woman who acquired hepatitis C after a blood transfusion during surgery about 10 years ago. She did not eat a nutritious diet and did not live a very healthy lifestyle at that time. About 5 years ago, she became very fatigues and nauseous, and was diagnosed with non-A, non-B hepatitis. She was treated with conventional therapies and continued to
degenerate into a poorer state of health. About 3 years ago she was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C. cirrhosis, portal hypertension. esophageal varcies, and thrombocytopenis, and treated with steroids and interferon. She did not improve. Her AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) level become elevated (16.1) and a mass was located in her liver. Mrs. M.P. was told that the mass was probably cancer and that there was no hope.
Mrs. M.P. presented at our office last year appearing fatigued, weak, pale, and her abdomen was grossly enlarged. The abdominal distention was due to ascites. She was administered oral furosaminde (40 mg) and potassium chloride (10 meq)

with a balanced die and wholesome lifestyle. She lost almost 50 lb of fluid in 1 month. Mrs. M.P. was treated with 600 mg. Of oral apha-lipoic acid in 2 divided doses (300 mg each), 900 mg of silymarin in 3 divided doses (300 mg each) and 400 mg of selenium a day. A premium B complex vitamin was added to her regimen because alpha-lipoic acid depletes the body of thiamin, biotin and other B vitamins. Adequate amounts of vitamin C (2,000 mg), vitamin E (800 IU), Coenzyme Q10 (300 mg), and basic mineral supplements were also prescribed. Figures 1 and 2 track the favorable changes in her ALT levels and her AFP levels. Today, Mrs.
M.P. is working 8 hours a day, feels healthy, looks good, and is not tired. She is free of the signs and symptoms of serious chronic hepatitis C infection.

Mrs. P.P. is a 49-year-old woman who was infected with hepatitis C following a blood transfusion prior to trauma surgery more than 10 years ago. During surgery, her spleen was excised because it was lacerated. About 3 years ago, a liver biopsy was performed that showed moderate cirrhosis with active inflammation. As a result of this pathology, Mrs. P.P. went on to develop portal hypertension with esophageal varices. She never acquired thrombocytopenia because of the spenectomy, and did not show an elevated AFG. Mrs. P.P. was treated with interferon therapy without any satisfactory results. She was told that her condition was hopeless and that a liver transplant was her only option. Her health continued to decline and she presented at our office
with fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia.

Mrs. P.P. was prescribed 600 mg. Of alpha-lipoic acid each day in 2 divided doses (300 mg each). To that, was added silymarin (900 mg/day) and selenium (400 ug/day). To combat the anxiety and insomnia, 0.5 of aprazolam was prescribed, as needed at bedtime. Mrs. P.P. was put on a balanced health and lifestyle program, and within 7 months regained her health. Figure 3 to 5 trace the favorable changes in her ALT levels, viral load and platelet levels. She is doing very well today and is working at an arduous job and playing at sports without any fatigue or other symptoms of serious disease.

 Mrs. L.M. is a 35-year-old mother of 3 children who developed hepatitis secondary to a blood transfusion during the birth of her baby girl 15 years ago. Three years ago she became ill and was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, portal hypertension, and esophageal varcies. As a result of the portal hypertension, she developed splenomegaly and thrombcytopenia. Mrs. L.M.’s hepatologist sent here to the university hospital for liver transplant evaluation. When she presented to our office, she was anxious, tired, and pale, and complained of constant pain in the regions of her liver and spleen. Mrs. l.’s fasting blood sugars were in the 300-mg/dc range. She did not have hyperglycemia prior to the hepatitis C infection. Mrs. L.M. decided that prior to the liver transplant surgery, she wanted to investigate a more conservative treatment regimen.

Mrs. L.M. was prescribed alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg./day), silymarin (900 mg./day) and selenium (400 ug) per day with other supportive supplements. She was encouraged to follow a health lifestyle program with a 2,000 calorie diabetes diet. Within 2 weeks she began to feel much better and recovered quickly. Her blood sugar fell into the normal range and the pain in her liver
and spleen ended. She became energized and was able to do her normal work as a housewife. She returned to college the next semester earning a 3.8 grade point average (A). Figures 6 and 7 trace her favorable progress.


Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a small organic molecule with a disultide bond. It is a superb antioxidant that is soluble in both water and fat. ALA is an important coenzyme for the production of acetyl coenzyme A. Dihydorlipoic acid (DHLA), it’s reduced form, is an electron donor that recycles other fundamental antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione). ALA and DHJLA are superb free radical scavenger themselves because they neutralize peroxyle radicals [36], hydroxyl radicals [39] and singlet oxygen [38].

ALA is also a metal chelator that removes mercury from tissues [17], prevents calcium oxalate crystals (stones) from forming in the kidneys [21, chelates copper [28], and removes arsenic [18].

Lately, there has been a great explosion in ALA research. The lipoic acid/dihydrolipoic acid redox couple inhibits viral replication by stabilizing the NFK beta transcription factor [4], blocks the development of cataracts [24], protects the kidneys form aminoglycoside damage [35], insulates the pancreatic islet cells form inflammatory assault [7], inhibits thymocyte apoptosis [8], and stimulates the production of helper T cells [15]. In addition, the toxic side effects of cancer chemotherapy can be attenuated with the use of ALA [5] and it protects bone marrow from free radical damage secondary to ionizing radiation.[33].

Numerous other studies show that ALA is useful for the treatment of diabetes mellitus and syndrome X because it increased cellular glucose utilization [19]. And significantly reduces insulin resistance [12,20].
Diabetic neuropathy originates from a decrease in blood flow to various organs. This results in an accumulation of free radicals that can destroy nerve function. In one study, ALA brought about a significant reduction of neuropathic symptoms in 23 patients [46]. This was accomplished by abolishing the products of lipid peroxidation and increasing the entrance of glucose into the cell [27].

Due to ALA’s lipophilic characteristics, it can cross the blood-brain barrier quite easily and can scavenge free radical toxins in the central nervous system.Both ALA and DHLA protect animals from neuronal death following laboratory-induced cerebral ischemia and reperfusion experiments [9,16,32]. This effect is explained by the fact the ALA greatly increased glutathione levels in
nervous tissue, thus protecting the nerves from the toxic products of oxidation.
For many years, ALA was used as a treatment for liver disease. As of yet, however, there are not many papers on this subject, and some studies used entirely sub-therapeutic dose [25].
Ethyl alcohol (ETOH) damages the liver by several mechanisms that ultimately lead to the proliferation of innumerable free radicals. These toxins damage the cell membranes by lipid peroxidation. It has been reported the ALA lowers the levels of ETOH metabolic breakdown products, and in consideration of this ALA may be an effective treatment for alcohol induced hepatitis, early cirrhosis, and alcoholic coma [23, 37].
In the late 1960’s and 1970’s, there were several studies describing the successful treatment of hepatotoxic mushroom poisoning with intravenous ALA [22, 47]. National Institutes of Health studies reported the survival of 73 out of 79 seriously poisoned patients [3, 6]. In American, interest in the use of ALA for hepatotoxic mushroom poisoning, and liver disease in general, was in the main
lost, because of the growing fascination with liver transplantation as a proposed "standard of care" treatment for serious liver disease.

Silymarin is the mixed extract of the milk thistle plant (sylibum marianum) and has been used for hundreds of years as a treatment for liver disease. In the late 1960’s and 1970’s it was extensively used for serious hepatotoxic mushroom poisoning with excellent results [43]. It has been demonstrated to be a proficient antioxidant, protecting the liver by neutralizing dangerous hydroxyl radicals, superoxide ions and hypochloric acid. In this way silymarin neutralized the toxins that destroy the cellular membrane systems and the hepatocyte’s genetic material [10, 26, 41]. Silymarin, like ALA, increases cellular glutathione levels and decreases tumor promoter activity {1, 30].

Human viral hepatitis studies with silymarin demonstrate quicker normalization of liver enzymes, expeditious reduction of bilirubin levels, and shorter hospital stays [31]. In addition, silymarin has been shown to be an effective antidote for toluene and xylene toxicity, and drug overdoes [14, 29, 40]. Alcoholic and other chronic liver disease patients lowered their liver enzymes, decreased their levels of procollagen III, and improved the histology of their livers with daily oral administration of silymarin [2,13, 34]. Taking this intelligent reasoning into account, silymarin offers another effective treatment choice for serious liver disease.

Selenium (Se) is an essential metal that is required for normal antioxidant metabolism, reproduction and thyroid function. It is also an important coenzyme for the glutathione peroxidase detoxification system. Because of this, selenium neutralized peroxides that proliferate under oxidate stress and consequently protects cell membranes from free radical damage.
Selenium often combines with amino acids and forms selenoproteins. Viruses might benefit from being directly involved in this selenoprotein encoding process by monitoring selenium levels in the cell. Consequently, this viral behavior could act as a barometer for increasing or decreasing viral reproduction. If cellular selenoprotein levels fall, the virus might become more active and produce more viruses that attack new cells. If selenoprotein levels rise, the virus may remain in a dormant state for longer periods of time or remain permanently dormant.
Research papers have reported that RNA viruses, including hepatitis C virus, encode selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase genes. In view of this concept, it is entirely possible that a specific viral gene could generate a selenium shortage in the host. And in this way, a selenium deficiency could stimulate viral proliferation and thus promote the progression of hepatitis C. To continue, in that case, the addition of selenium might act as a "birth control pill" for the virus, and thus show down it’s reproduction mechanisms. According to several investigators this could give the immune system a chance to control the hepatitis C or HIV disease process [42,45].


There are no remarkably effective treatments for chronic hepatitis C in general use. Interferon and antivirals have less than a 30% response rate and liver transplantation is uncertain and tentative. This is partially due to the residual viremia; the newly transplanted liver ultimately becomes infected again [44].
The triple antioxidant combination of alpha-lipoid acid, silymarin and selenium were chosen for a conservative treatment of hepatitis C because these substances protect the liver from free radical damage, increase the levels of other fundamental antioxidants and interfere with virus proliferation. The 3 patients presented in this paper followed the triple antioxidant program and recovered quickly form this potentially devastating viral infection. Furthermore, liver transplantation can be painful, disabling, and extremely costly.
The author offers a more conservative approach to the treatment of hepatitis C that is exceedingly less expensive. One year of the triple antioxidant therapy described in this paper costs less than $2,000, as compared to more than $300,000 a year for liver transplant surgery. It appears reasonable, that prior to liver transplant surgery evaluation, or during the transplant evaluation process, this conservative triple antioxidant treatment approach should be considered. If there is a significant betterment in the patient’s condition, liver transplant surgery may be avoided.
References available upon request - contact Hepatitis United

Thank you again, Dr. Berkson, for all that you have done to help so many people heal from liver disease and cirrhosis! Me and Jake are forever grateful to you.



to learn about:

Please note: I am not a doctor and I am only able to tell you what I have learned by doing my own research on the internet, and share with you the things that have worked for my husband. Please remember that Liver Cirrhosis is a very serious disease so I am not saying, do not see a doctor. Doctors have helped my 
husband a lot. But I believe it is wise to do as much research as you can, and find out why 
they are giving you every one of the medications and treatments they are giving you. 
I believe they do not always know about or understand every treatment option that is available, 
and there are many good options out there that can help.

Your health is ultimately your own responsibility, above anyone else's.

Best of luck to you!!!
If you have something to share, please feel free to leave a (non spam) comment on this blog.


  1. Appreciate it for sharing this great article. I agree that this combined stresses involving nutrient depletion and toxicity brings about liver stress, malfunction and ultimately ailment. Get to recognize a supplementary meals call Lifestream Chlorella is actually good to treat this disease. Some review about it topic at:

  2. You're welcome Kidbux! Good to know about the lifestream chlorella, thanks for sharing that!

  3. I have cirrhosis and have been doing alot of reading on Dr. Berkson. I'm curious as to which brands of supplements your husband used. Would you mind sharing this information with me.

  4. I have recently found out I have liver cirrhosis and I have bought Dr. Berkson's book. The one question I do have is what brand of supplements your husband used. I am scared of buying a brand that is ineffective.

  5. Hi Jody, you can see some of the brands we used on this page. http://healing-liver-cirrhosis.blogspot.com/2014/06/supplements-that-are-known-documented.html We didn't use anything too fancy, mostly got off amazon or health food stores, though I don't doubt dr. berkson would have supplements that are the best quality. Please feel free to contact me through my blog if you want to speak to me directly, and leave your number if you want me to call you back.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Thanks for sharing that info and I'm glad to hear you had success with it. I always recommend the water for detoxification and circulation but have heard of someone having success with DMSO on the belly of someone who had really bad ascites, and I know it's something you can get at most health food stores!

  8. Hi I had to edit my last post

    Anyone with liver toxicity/disease might research DMSO as a topical/oral agent for detoxification. If you can't get injections of ALA, or don't seem to get enough relief from it, you might try DMSO. It is certainly no replacement for medical care but if nothing else works, why not try it? It is shown to prevent cirrhosis. We do not know if it could reverse existing cirhhosis, so ALA is a better alternative but why not try both?. DMSO has the potential to reduce inflammation if the non-scarred areas within a cirrhotic liver and allow these cells to function normally.

    Against the vet's strict warning, I applied DMSO to my cat's abdomen when she was poisoned by methimazole. She had inflammation of the pancreas and liver with cholestasis. I felt compelled to apply DMSO after reading studies which suggested it helped the body detox when the liver couldn't perform. The cat had no chance to live without a drastic move, and I wasn't given any options by the vet except surgery to "explore". Sure, let's put an 18 year old cat in liver and renal failure under anesthesia, but let's not rub sulfur on her belly, because we might... tickle her?

    In one day, her urine was much less yellow and she was perkier. I was able to drastically reduce signs of liver and kidney damage in just 2 days. The problem DMSO on cat skin is that it burns/prickles due to histamine release. I didn't want my cat to hate me. She would relapse unless I gave her a high strength 4x day. Her labs were up then down then up again, so I can't say I "cured" her, but I certainly helped her feel better. She also had an appetite boost after DMSO application. However, I was still making her unhappy 4 times a days, which was only acceptable if there was an end in sight. It became apparent that I couldn't get enough into her topically to reverse this condition, so I gave up. I put her down just shy of her 19th birthday, after 4 months of this therapy.

    I have one regret- not giving DMSO orally because "experts" claim it causes nausea. She did lick it off her belly and seemed unaffected. The irony is that the DMSO therapy apparently remedied her hyperthyroidism which is what put her in this messy situation to begin with. Further irony- I now use DMSO to treat nause/gastritis. I also give DMSO (3 drops hidden in a wet meal every 3 days) to a cat who had autoimmune renal disease. She looks and acts healthier and better hydrated. I don't expect to see a huge improvement in labs with the small dose I have her on, plus, bloodwork won't necessarily tell us how DMSO may be helping her detoxify. She's happy, eating full meals, drinking less water, and pouncing on toys for 20 minutes straight. I am quite happy with that status. I plan to start her on LDN therapy just to see if it doesn't help calm autoimmunity in her mouth and kidneys. I’d try ALA but have no idea if it helps renal function or how one gives this to a feline as ALA carries quite a bit of risk if overdosed.

    I shared these cases because DMSO is a powerful antioxidant like ALA and some might have relief from DMSO. One should ask a doctor before trying it of course as it has the risk of suppressing thyroid function and intensify/decrease the effect of medications. There are many who claim DMSO harms liver tissue, but it simply alters a common liver function blood test. Many doctors agree that it does not harm the liver. In fact, livers awaiting transplant are treated with DMSO to protect the cells from damage. It's also used to protect many types of cell cultures. Ask anyone who works in a biotech lab.

    Good luck to all of you. I do hope you all get well one way or another. I believe you can.

  9. What about LDN with patients diagnosed with PBC? Any information on this?

  10. Hi, My husband never took LDN but I have heard good things about it. You can hear Dr. Berkson talk about it in the interview on this page.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this info. I am caring for a 58 yo guy with Hep C, cirrhosis, ascites, portal hypertension and repetitive bouts of hepatic encephalopathy. He is on the liver transplant list (free here in Aus) but still no guarantees he'll ever get a donor in time. ANYTHING I can try to help ease his suffering is worth a shot given the endless medications often cause side effects .... so yet more drugs to treat (!) these side effects on top of violent reactions to prescribed meds (multiple seizures) then dehydration from the 1.2 litre a day fluid restriction, diurectics wrecking his kidneys plus leading to debilitation cramps.... but still the ascites and odema It got so bad I ceased the frusomide (kept on th spironalactone) and started him on fresh juices with heaps of organic psyllium husks. He's lost 7kg (about 15 pounds) of fluid in only 2 weeks. AND NO MORE CRAMPS! I'm rushing out to but these supplements because NOTHING the docs have prescribed have had such good results. Any thing would be better than the status quo. Once again THANK YOU so much, best regards Diana