Ways to Eat Grapefruit to Prevent Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C (HCV) is often referred to as the “silent epidemic” because so many Americans have it and doctors know so little about it. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 4.5 million US citizens have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.
Like the less common A and B versions of the disease, it is a blood borne infection that affects the liver. Unlike the others, however, there is no vaccine for HCV and doctors are not optimistic that one will be developed in the near future. In its most acute and chronic forms, the disease can lead to liver failure, which is almost always fatal.
The most serious symptom of the HCV is cirrhosis, which is damage to the liver. Since the disease is chronic and there is no vaccine, scarring and damage to the organ may occur over a period of several years, even decades. But there is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark and ominous sky. A recent study conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM) found that ways to eat grapefruit may prevent the secretion of the virus from the liver.
How does it work? HCV can only be spread if it gets help from a very low-density lipoprotein (vLDL), also known as bad cholesterol. The virus attaches itself to the fat and basically hitches a ride when both are secreted by the liver. Release of both may blocked by a bioflavonoid called naringenin.
For decades, the grapefruit has been a popular diet food. It even inspired the first bona fide diet fad, the Grapefruit Diet. But no one was sure why the ways to eat grapefruit resulted in weight loss. They only knew that it worked. In recent years, researchers have become ever more certain that the fruit helps people lose weight because contains copious quantities of naringenin.
When ingested, the flavonoid a dramatic effect on the liver. It is believed that naringenin actually directs the liver to burn excess fats instead of storing them in the body. One of the fats or lipids that it blocks is vLDL, which carries Hepatitis C from the liver and helps it multiply. By preventing its release, naringenin stops HCV from spreading.
Though additional testing is required, researchers speculate that a drug regimen of naringenin and antiviral medications my help patients improve the health of their livers.' It may even be possible to destroy the virus altogether.
This would be a breakthrough of staggering proportions, since HCV is the leading cause of liver disease and failure in the US. It affects about three percent of the world population and antiviral medications are only efficacious in around half of the cases. The other half has a 70 percent chance of developing a chronic infection that may lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.