Quercetin: New Study Suggests Its Potential for Hepatitis C Treatment

Quercetin has been available as a dietary supplement for decades. This plant-derived compound can be found in various foods, such as onions, apples, red wine, grapefruit juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice, as well as white, green and black teas. It is an antioxidant and has been shown to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad cholesterol”)–thus checking one of the primary processes implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease. It has also been investigated as a support for respiratory function.

But what excited us recently were reports about the potential of Quercetin to thwart the hepatitis C virus, and so perhaps provide a new, less toxic way of combating this debilitating disease that affects an estimated 270 to 320 million people worldwide. While there are currently approved treatments for hepatitis C (ribavirin and interferon), they can have significant side effects, and are not always effective. The recent Quercetin research, published in 2010, finds that this plant-derived compound may inhibit hepatitis C replication in a novel way, targeting cellular proteins rather than viral proteins. Clinical trials with Quercetin are now planned, and will focus especially on a type of hepatitis C that is least susceptible to successful treatment by the current medications. We will certainly stay tuned for more news on this topic!

NOTE: NYBC stocks Quercetin 500mg/100 and Quercetin 500mg/200


Samuel W. French, et al. The heat shock protein inhibitor Quercetin attenuates hepatitis C virus production. Hepatology, Volume 50 Issue 6, Pages 1756 – 1764.

Antioxidant Optimizer: broad spectrum antioxidant formula

NYBC now stocks Antioxidant Optimizer from Jarrow Formulas, a broad spectrum antioxidant supplement that provides a blend of water and fat soluble antioxidants ( meaning they are widely absorbed in the body), including:

Lutein and lycopene, which protect the eyes, cardiovascular system, breast, cervical, and other tissues and organs;


Green tea extract, olive fruit extract, grape seed extract, and milk thistle, which support liver health and cardiovascular system health.

For more details, see the NYBC entry:

Antioxidant Optimizer

Yes, you’ll also notice that NYBC’s nonprofit co-op price for this product is very reasonable!

NYBC’s MAC-Pack on the “Ask The Experts” forum, thebody.com

We were glad to see a recent Q&A on the “Ask the Experts” forum of thebody.com, which is one of the leading online sources of information for people with HIV. The question concerned NYBC’s MAC-Pack, our low-cost, close equivalent to K-PAX, a multivitamin/antioxidant combination which has been shown in research to raise CD4 counts, and which is available thru some — but not all–formularies in some — but not all — states.

For more information, see NYBC’s entry

Here’s the exchange:

QUESTION: macpac
Jul 5, 2011
are you familiar with the co. NYBC and their MACPAC-combination multivitamin & antioxidant program sells for 65 dollars and they compare to KPAC for 1/2 the cost..don’t want to throw money away on useless vitamins or vitamins that are sub-par or not tested

ANSWER: Response from Mr. Vergel

Supplement quality is always an important issue. One available resource is http://www.consumerlab.com although they are a for-profit company. It would be preferable if there were a government agency that routinely tested supplements and published the results!
It will always be a bit of a crapshoot, but the good news is the majority of supplements tested by them either pass and those that do fail often do for relatively minor reasons (though some do spectacularly).
According to Jared Becker and George Carter from the New York Buyers Club, the brands used in NYBC’s MAC Pack come from companies as reputable as K-PAX and with longer histories. NYBC has assessed Jarrow, Douglas Labs and Montiff, the providers used to make the Mac Pack. A few years ago, NYBC sent Montiff’s acetylcarnitine for testing and it came back fine. NYBC also uses consumerlab’s reports to verify quality of our big suppliers like Jarrow and Douglas.

Nelson Vergel

Entry posted at: http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Nutrition/Q216051.html?ic=700101

Antioxidant supplements support immune reconstitution in people taking HIV meds

One of the reports coming out of the 2010 International AIDS Conference held in Vienna this summer was about a study of antioxidants taken along with HIV anti-retroviral meds. Here’s the capsule summary from Mark Mascolini on the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy project website:

Antioxidants With ART Boost CD4s, Ease Mitochondrial Damage in 8-Week Trial

Taking an antioxidant medley with antiretroviral therapy (ART) furthered immune reconstitution and began to reverse mitochondrial damage in an 8-week placebo-controlled study of 25 adults on stable antiretrovirals. Insulin resistance also improved during supplementation…

Read the full article, with reference, at http://natap.org/

New at NYBC: Daily Five, Vegetarian Enzymes, Pomegranate Concentrate

NYBC recently added to its list of food-based supplements by stocking Daily Five from Jarrow. This is a blend of high quality, organic (USDA seal) fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants such as proanthocyanidins. Ingredients include apple, carrot, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, beet powder acerola powder, broccoli and spinach. In addition, each scoop includes organic flax seed powder and a blend of organic barley grass, wheat grass and oat bran powders.

Read more at the NYBC entry Daily Five.

NYBC is also stocking a vegetarian formula digestive enzyme, Jarro-Zymes Vegetarian Enzymes. To aid digestion, this formulation contains the enzymes that help break down fats (lipase), proteins (protease), sugars and starches (amylase), as well as alpha galactosidase (sugars) and peptidases (proteins).

Read more at the NYBC entry Jarro-Zymes Vegetarian Enzymes.

Also among new products at NYBC: Pomegranate Juice Concentrate. This is one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants, with an ORAC higher than blueberries and strawberries and concentrated to a level of 4 times that of ordinary pomegranate juice…it is thick (mix with water or juice)! The antioxidants found in the juice include ellagic and gallic acid, anthocyanins and tannins, and punicalagin (the most powerful). Various studies suggest that this may help to improve the level of glutathione in cells, particularly macrophages. It may have benefit for maintaining platelet levels, lowering LDL and sustaining vascular tone. NOTE: Pomegranate juice, like grapefruit juice, may interact with a number of medications. People on meds like anti-hypertensive or statins, or people who are allergic to many plants, should consult their physician before taking.

Read more at the NYBC entry Pomegranate Juice Concentrate.

Multivitamin Antioxidant Combination (MAC-Pack): a K-Pax alternative available in no-iron formula for those with liver impairment

In 2007, NYBC began offering an alternative to the K-Pax multivitamin-antioxidant supplement, which was added to some ADAP and Medicaid formularies following publication in 2006 of Dr. Jon Kaiser’s study that found CD4 increases in people with HIV taking a micronutrient combination supplement. A first reason for the NYBC alternative, called the MAC-Pack, was price: for those without access to ADAP or Medicaid programs, the double strength K-Pax cost of about $140/month was rather high, and NYBC as a nonprofit co-op was able to present a close equivalent for only $62/month.

But another rationale for introducing the MAC-Pack was its flexibility. In fact, because MAC-Pack uses the AMNI/Douglas multivitamins Added Protection as its core, it can be configured as a formula with or without iron. Having the option of an iron-free MAC-Pack is important especially to people with elevated liver enzymes, liver impairment, or hepatitis co-infection. Taking iron supplements is generally not recommended for this group, since processing the iron puts an extra strain on liver function.

Also note that the MAC-Pack provides somewhat more acetylcarnitine than the K-Pax, which may not be a bad idea, especially if you believe, as we do, that acetylcarnitine is probably a key element in the multivitamin-antioxidant combination. (Two tabs/day is sufficient if you’re just interested in matching the K-Pax formula, but three/day may be better especially for those dealing with neuropathy.)

For more information, see the NYBC entry:


Twigs and Bark!

This post is from NYBC’s Administrator, George Carter, who is living with Hepatitis C:

Twigs and Bark! (That’s what a friend calls a lot of the “alternative” stuff I do….he does some too…occasionally…)

Most of you know I’m living with Hepatitis C (tho not, to my surprise, HIV).

My recent bloodwork was a bit of a happy surprise. For the second time, my hep C viral load was very low–even lower than last test: 1940 IU/ml. My liver enzymes were just a little elevated (last check they were normal). The elevation was just a little over normal. Other blood work is normal (platelets good), etc. RBC’s are athletically high! On palpation, the liver is not enlarged or stiff–it feels fine, the doc says.

I can attribute this to not only diet, sleeping, exercise but also a selection of antioxidants and herbs. My list of stuff is also fairly costly. It SHOULD be covered (but then I don’t have health insurance at all). Happily, I am able to get my survival supplements through a generous stipend from NYBC!

Of course, while these numbers don’t correlate with progression as HIV load or CD4 counts do, the numbers are all in the right places.

Email NYBC if you’d like a copy of my protocol. [See http://www.newyorkbuyersclub.org or contact info.]
George M. Carter