Hepatitis B Annual

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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 72-106

Complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B

1 Division of Research and Development, Development Center for Biotechnology, Xizhi City, Taipei County, 221, R.O.C, Taiwan
2 Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Biotechnology, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, 30013, R.O.C, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Jia-Ming Chang
Division of Research and Development, Development Center for Biotechnology, Xizhi City, Taipei County, 221 R.O.C
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9747.45091

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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects approximately more than 350 million people worldwide, especially in Asia, Africa, southern Europe and Latin America. Except for interferon-α, most anti-HBV drugs are derived from the anti-herpes and anti-HIV drugs. Because of the high cost of hepatitis B medications, herbs-also called 'complementary and alternative therapies' in modern Western science-are widely used for treatment of chronic hepatitis B in developing countries. Herbals confer their activities not only by inhibiting HBV secretion but also by building up immunity against viruses. After studying the anti-HBV mechanism of herbs, scientists were encouraged to find that novel anti-HBV drugs target viral secretion, whereas nucleoside analogues target viral polymerase. The complementary and alternative anti-HBV therapies published in scientific peer-reviewed journals are reviewed and discussed in this article.

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