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To "B" or Not to "B"

Giving the B vitamin to patients with chronic hepatitis B improves signs of the disease, a small study has found. The study, reported in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, could point to a cheap and non-toxic way of treating the infection.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is spread through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected individual. HBV infects the liver, and in severe cases can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. Symptoms can be treated with antiviral drugs and interferon, but there is no cure.

An astute patient noticed that his high aminotransferase enzyme levels, or catalysts for the transfer of amino acids, indicated a more active infection of the liver. After a review of the patient's chart, a relationship was found noting that the patient's aminotransferase levels fell when he took thiamine. While patients were on thiamine treatment, their aminotransferase levels fell from abnormally high to normal levels, which increased when the Thiamine was withdrawn.

This is the first study to investigate thiamine for treating hepatitis B infection, however, thiamine is cheap, and without side effects. Watermelon, green beans, oysters, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of thiamine.

Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about the essentials of proper nutrition and the negative impact poor diet can have on your future health and wellness. For more information on nutrition, visit


Wallace AE, Weeks WB. Thiamine treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 2001:96(3), pp. 864-868.