I have MS primary and peripheral neuropathy secondary to the MS. In my search of something to help my
health problems I found a safe supplement that can also help the health of your liver.
Research indicates that the supplement is very effective at healing the liver and helping all
sorts of liver problems for just $30 a month. No I'm not selling it, the $30 a month goes to
anyone that you purchase the supplement from. That’s all it costs to help repair the damage
to your liver that causes so many health problems. So, you say, “If that’s true, why didn't my
doctor tell me to take the supplement?” Doctors prescribe medicine based on what is sold to
them. Doctors’ offices are given samples to hand out to patients. The patient uses the
samples for a week to a month. When the patient comes back for a recheck, typically the
doctor will ask how the patient did with the samples. If everything went okay, the doctor
prescribes the same medication without even thinking of alternatives. Doctors are inundated
with ads for various drugs by billion-dollar drug companies. Even medical websites are
cluttered with ads from drug companies. When a doctor goes to prescribe a drug he or she is
probably going to prescribe something that they’ve either been given samples of or they’ve
seen lots of ads for. I have personally told a doctor about the exorbitant cost of a drug and
his surprise was genuine. Often it is only when a patient complains will a doctor search for
alternatives. Who is promoting this $30 a month supplement? Besides me, only the medical
literature, a few other websites and vitamin retailers. If a doctor doesn’t read the right
literature, how are they to know about this obscure supplement? There's so much for doctors
to keep up with that it’s not surprising that this supplement is not well known. However, Dr.
Joseph Mercola, author of "The Total Health Program," at his web site talks about how the
drug company Schering-Plough was pushing their $18,000 a year drug instead of the $300 a
year nutritional supplement program of Dr. Berkson that I discuss below.(7)
I first read about the supplement in Neurology News, an ezine (electronic magazine) for
physicians that's available to anyone on the web. That's right, the information is there for
everyone. The supplement is Alpha Lipoic Acid, a naturally occurring compound that our
bodies make in small amounts. It is an antioxidant. Please refer to my page on Alpha Lipoic
Acid for information on how an antioxidant works.
So how does this information relate to your liver disease? If all conventional therapies for
liver disease fail, your only alternative is a transplant. A well-respected and often quoted
German doctor, in a search for an alternative to transplantation for those with progressive
hepatitis C, found a cheap alternative. Dr. Berkson said "The triple antioxidant combination of
alpha-lipoic acid, silymarin (milk thistle) 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."
(2) The three patients he presents and treated in that research paper are now healthy with
good laboratory values and are all back at work. Since then he has repeated the results
again and again. In a search of 60 sites, I found 20 doctors who supported this study and the
results. Most of the other sites sold vitamins so of course they supported his study. Another
study "of 24 patients showed success in using Naltrexone, Alpha Lipoic acid, milk thistle, and
Hypercurium (selenium) in treating hepatitis B and C." (3) According to Dr. Ester Packer,
professor of molecular biology at UC Berkley, alpha-lipoic acid "may be the most important
antioxidant ever discovered." Further information from her research can be found at the
Triumph Over Hepatitis C website.
WHAT DOSAGE IS THERAPUTIC?
Dr. Berkson prescribed to each patient:
300 mg. of alpha-lipoic acid twice a day (600 mg. a day)
300 mg. three times a day of silymarin aka. milk thistle (900 mg. a day)
200 mcg. twice a day of selenium (400 mcg. a day)
According to my research, the above recommended daily amounts for silymarin and selenium
are only about twice what is recommended as an average daily amount for the general
population. I have not found a commonly recommended daily amount of ALA.
Dr. Berkson also believed that alpha-lipoic acid depletes B vitamins so he prescribed 2 B-100
capsules a day. He also had each patient take at least 1,000 mg. of vitamin C, 400 IU of
vitamin E and a mineral supplement every day. A healthy diet and lots of water was also
suggested.(2) Not a bad idea for anyone.
SAFETY OF THE SUPPLEMENTS
Alpha-lipoic acid is safe and has no well-known drug interactions. Recommended dosages
range from 800 mg./day for diabetic neuropathy and 150 mg./day for glaucoma. There has
never been any reports of toxicity from overdose of alpha-lipoic acid, however, there haven't
been studies done with pregnant and lactating women so their use of alpha-lipoic acid
supplements is not recommended. Although I have read many articles on alpha-lipoic acid,
the most comprehensive and best documented website I have found is Oregon State
University's Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Please consult their
webpages for more details and new research on ALA, milk thistle and selenium.
About silymarin (milk thistle) the American Cancer Society says that "a typical dosage ranges
from 200 to 400 mg of silymarin daily." They also say that because it is a mild laxative,
pregnant and lactating women should not use this supplement.
According to Healthnotes "an adult intake of 100–200 mcg of selenium per day is
recommended by many doctors." Healthnotes also warns that taking selenium with Cisplatin,
Clozapine and oral corticosteroids may increase the need for selenium. Taking selenium with
Valproic Acid should not be attempted without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
One of Dr. Berkson's patients reported feeling better after just a few weeks and one had a
complete recovery after just seven months. I found that pretty exciting and hope you get
the same results. My progress was much slower though. It could be because I had more
severe damage or it could be because I had several MS relapses along the way. My sensory
nerve damage healed from the top down. Then I got back the ability to feel hot and cold.
FINALLY, the pain left. Whew! For me it took eight years. My philosophy is better late than
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This page is dedicated to Bob who has Peripheral Neuropathy due to liver disease.
My hope is for an improvement in his health & for all who suffer from liver disease.
Information that is provided in this site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians.