Top Ten Reasons to Support the New York Buyers’ Club

As we reach the finish of the New York Buyers’ Club fundraiser, we thought it was time to circulate the “Top Ten Reasons” to support NYBC–in case there are those of you out there who aren’t familiar with the unique contributions this nonprofit co-op and information exchange makes to the lives of people with HIV and/or Hepatitis C.

Learn more and make your donation at


1. ThiolNAC. NYBC is the only source for this formula combining two widely recommended and well-researched antioxidants, alpha lipoic acid and NAC (N-acetylcysteine). ThiolNAC is especially useful for people with HIV and those with liver disease. NYBC’s combination formula reduces both cost and pill count.

2. NYBC stocks a unique lineup of high quality, specially formulated multivitamins, including Added Protection and Ultra Preventive Beta from Douglas Labs, and the Super Immune Multivitamin and Opti-Energy Easy Swallow from SuperNutrition, Member pricing for these multis is very low—in fact, Douglas asked us to hide the Member price from the general public!

3. NYBC’s MAC Pack and Opti-MAC Pack provide a mix of antioxidants and micronutrients very similar to those in K-PAX®, but at half the price. (Included in many formularies, K-PAX®, is based on Dr. Jon Kaiser’s 2006 journal article that reported an increase in CD4 count for people with HIV taking the nutrient combination.)

4. NYBC stocks a wide selection of Traditional Chinese Medicine supplements, from suppliers like Health Concerns, Pacific Biologic, and Zhang. (NOTE: Zhang products are available only if you log into the NYBC website as a Member.)

5. PharmaNAC®. This effervescent, extremely stable form of NAC (N-acetylcysteine) supports respiratory and immune function. In particular, it holds promise for people with cystic fibrosis, according to recent clinical trials conducted at Stanford. NYBC has stocked an effervescent form of NAC since 2004, based on its well-supported usefulness for chronic conditions.

6. NYBC specializes in probiotics like Florastor® and Jarro-Dophilus EPS. Probiotics support gastrointestinal health, a foundation for general health. And, a recent review in the Journal of the American Medical Association found probiotics effective for preventing and treating antibiotic-related diarrhea, a common side effect.

7. NYBC monitors and presents to its Members the latest research on supplements to support cardiovascular health, including fish oil, CoQ10, plant sterols, and Vitamin D.

8. NYBC annual membership is a tremendous bargain at $5 (low-income, unemployed), $10 (middle-income), or $25 (higher income). Do you know of any other organization that offers annual memberships as low as $5, yet gives you such significant savings?

9. The NYBC Blog alphabetically indexes more than 400 informative posts, providing the latest research news about supplements in an easy-to-read online format.

10. Yes, you can talk to a live person at NYBC! Our Treatment Director, George Carter, has two decades of experience with supplement research, especially for people with HIV and/or liver disease. Reach him at our toll-free number 800-650-4983.

NYBC Fundraising Campaign Almost There – Please Donate Today to Take Us Over the Top!

The New York Buyers’ Club, your community-minded nutritional supplements co-op, provides access to low-cost, high-quality supplements especially selected for people with HIV, Hepatitis C and other chronic conditions. NYBC also reports on the best and most useful scientific information on using supplements to stay healthy–see, for example, our previous post on a ground-breaking November 2013 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which points to an important role for multivitamins and selenium as a means to slow progression of HIV.

Please help us continue our important work—donate today:


(NYBC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS, so your contributions are tax-deductible!)

You can also visit the NYBC website and online catalog at

Vitamin D and hepatitis C

More Vitamin D news, as reported on the information website :

Vitamin D supplementation increased the likelihood of sustained response to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C, leading researchers to suggest that vitamin D deficiency may help explain well-known racial/ethnic disparities in treatment response, according to a presentation at the 45th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2010) last month in Vienna. A recently published related study found that low vitamin D levels were associated with more severe liver fibrosis and poor treatment response.

In recent years, we have been much impressed by the flood of new research on Vitamin D’s health benefits. And it’s particularly interesting that many researchers are now focusing on Vitamin D deficiency as a contributing factor in racial/ethnic disparities in the rates of cardiovascular disease or, as here, in response to treatment for liver disease.

See further information about Vitamin D and cardiovascular health on this Blog, or in the NYBC entries under Vitamin D3 at

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.

Silymarin (milk thistle) for liver support

NYBC provides this description of the botanical Silymarin, also known as milk thistle:

Milk Thistle: Silymarin (Silybum Marianum). A potent liver-strengthening herb, it stimulates the liver to regenerate itself by producing new liver cells as well as having strong antioxidant action to help prevent lipid-peroxidation of cell membranes. Given to seven patients receiving tuberculosis drugs (INH and ethambutol), a standardized silymarin extract normalized elevated liver enzymes after three months treatment. Many people with hepatitis C use milk thistle. It is extremely safe. Some studies suggest it may help to reverse the scarring known as fibrosis. Chilean researchers have discovered that silymarin increases glutathione [a key intracellular antioxidant] in the liver, stomach and intestines by over 50%, although it was not shown to increase glutathione levels in other organs. Milk thistle may interact with cytochrome P450–specifically the 3A4 enzyme. This is important since it is the same pathway used by many AIDS drugs. A study by Piscitelli, et al., happily, found no effect of silymarin on the plasma level of indinavir (Crixivan). Now we need a study evaluating the potential benefit against the liver toxicities of drugs like nevirapine and ritonavir (Norvir). Anecdotal reports suggest that it may delay CD4 increases with ARV.

See also entries on Dandelion Root as well as Hepato-C, Hepato-Detox and Ecliptex (Chinese Herbal Formulas).

Note: NYBC stocks Milk Thistle/Silymarin 80% (Jarrow) [150mg/200 Caps]. Each capsule contains 150 mg of Milk Thistle standardized for 120 mg of Silymarin. This brand has smaller capsules since they do not use a turmeric base. Some find this more convenient to use. PWHIV and PWHCV use 3-6/day.

Suggested Usage: Take 1 to 3 capsules daily, or as directed by your qualified health consultant.

Milk Thistle in Latin is Silybum marianum. This 30:1 concentrate is standardized to contain 80% Silymarin from Milk Thistle seeds.

Silymarin is composed of three flavonoids: primarily Silybin and minor amounts of Silydianin and Silychristin, which support liver function by raising protective glutathione levels.

Hepato-C from Pacific Biologic

Hepato-C is a formula based on Traditional Chinese medicine and modern clinical practice. It is specifically formulated for those with hepatitis C. The manufacturer supplies this extended description of the components and rationale for the creation of the formula:

Hepato-C: Pacific Biologic product description.

See also the NYBC entry on


and the related product from Pacific Biologic,


Hepatitis C and HIV Co-infection: A Treatment Update from CATIE

The Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE) has devoted the June/July Issue 2008 of its Treatment Update to a review of recent research on Hepatitis C and HIV. Here are some of the main points:

1. Although commonly viewed as simply a liver disease, Hepatitis C in recent research is strongly linked to diabetes, pre-diabetes and insulin resistance. In fact, about one-third of people with Hep C show insulin resistance, a complication that reduces chances of recovery and may lead to additional problems. Thus, researchers “need to find ways to reverse IR [insulin resistance]. Such methods could include clinical trials of diet, exercise programs and insulin-sensitizing drugs or supplements such as chromium.”

2. The HIV medication ddI (didanosine, Videx or Videx EC) has been associated with liver disease in some cases. Researchers have speculated that ddI decreases levels of a protective compound called glutathione (GSH), which is used in the body to make enzymes that help detoxification. NAC, or N-acetyl-cysteine, has been shown to raise GSH levels in people with HIV, and so could be helpful in countering ddI-related liver problems. (However, no clinical trials have yet been conducted to assess NAC’s impact on the liver health of people with HIV taking ddI.)

Read the complete Treatment Update issue here:

CATIE Treatment Update June/July 2008

For more information on the supplements mentioned above, see the NYBC entries on


NAC or N-acetylcysteine

Or, see further entries for these two supplements on this blog.