Vitamin D may help fight chronic hepatitis B, according to recent research. The world’s most common liver infection, 2 billion people (one out of three) worldwide have been infected, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation. Most people can get rid of it, though some develop chronic infections. Five thousand Americans die each year from the disease and its complications.
The study found that patients with chronic hepatitis B with normal levels of circulating vitamin D were less likely to develop clinical events including hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common type of liver cancer), complications of cirrhosis, or death, compared with those with vitamin D deficiency. Hepatitis B patients with vitamin D deficiency at the beginning of the study were 90 percent more likely than those who weren’t deficient to develop clinical events. During a 15-year follow-up period, subjects who were vitamin D deficient had a 25.5 percent rate of clinical events compared with subjects with normal D levels, who had just an 11.1 percent rate. The research was published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and noted on foodconsumer.org.
This new research supports previous findings, which suggested seasonal fluctuations in vitamin D and hepatitis b levels point to a link these variables among patients with chronic hepatitis b.