Slowing down hep C

Blueberry leaves may help treat the virus

For people with hepatitis C, including a number of Canadians who contracted the virus from tainted blood transfusions in the late 1980s, treatment has been scarce—drugs are only 60 per cent effective and can cause serious side effects. But researchers in Japan have found that the leaves of rabbit-eye blueberry plants may help suppress hep C cells from replicating, which over a couple of decades can develop into diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. They are still figuring out how this occurs, but the scientists believe that a purified compound found in the leaves called proanthocyandin could be a useful dietary supplement for patients. It is similar to a healthful chemical in grapes and wine.

Science Daily

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