Researchers halt, reverse cirrhosis of the liver

University of California, San Diego researchers have proven in animal studies that fibrosis in the liver can be not only stopped, but reversed. Their discovery, to be published in PLoS Online on December 26, opens the door to treating and curing conditions that lead to excessive tissue scarring such as viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, pulmonary fibrosis, scleroderma and burns.

Six years ago, the UC San Diego School of Medicine research team discovered the cause of the excess fibrous tissue growth that leads to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, and developed a way to block excess scar tissue in mice. At that time, the best hope seemed to be future development of a therapy that would prevent or stop damage in patients suffering from the excessive scarring related to liver or lung disease or severe burns.

In their current study, Martina Buck, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at UCSD and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, and Mario Chojkier, M.D., UCSD professor of medicine and liver specialist at the VA, show that by blocking a protein linked to overproduction of scar tissue, they can not only stop the progression of fibrosis in mice, but reverse some of the cell damage that already occurred.

In response to liver injury – for example, cirrhosis caused by alcohol – hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activated by oxidative stress results in large amounts of collagen. Collagen is necessary to heal wounds, but excessive collagen causes scars in tissues. In this paper, the researchers showed that activation of a protein called RSK results in HSC activation and is critical for the progression of liver fibrosis. They theorized that the RSK pathway would be a potential therapeutic target, and developed an RSK inhibitory peptide to block activation of RSK.

The scientists used mice with severe liver fibrosis – similar to the condition in humans with cirrhosis of the liver – that was induced by chronic treatment with a liver toxin known to cause liver damage. The animals, which continued on the liver toxin, were given the RSK-inhibitory peptide. The peptide inhibited RSK activation, which stopped the HSC from proliferating. The peptide also directly activated the caspase or “executioner” protein, which killed the cells producing liver cirrhosis but not the normal cells.

“All control mice had severe liver fibrosis, while all mice that received the RSK-inhibitory peptide had minimal or no liver fibrosis,” said Buck.

Buck explained that the excessive collagen response is blocked by the RSK-inhibitory peptide, but isn’t harmful to the liver. “The cells continue to do their normal, healing work but their excess proliferation is controlled,” Buck said. “Remarkably, the death of HSC may also allow recovery from liver injury and reversal of liver fibrosis.”

The researchers found a similar activation of RSK in activated HSC in humans with severe liver fibrosis but not in control livers, suggesting that this pathway is also relevant in human liver fibrosis. Liver biopsies from patients with liver fibrosis also showed activated RSK.

The study expands on work reported in 2001 in the journal Molecular Cell announcing that a team led by Buck had found that a small piece of an important regulatory protein called C/EBP beta was responsible for fibrous tissue growth, or excessive scar tissue following injury or illness. When normal scarring goes awry, excessive build-up of fibrous tissue can produce disfiguring scars or clog vital internal organs and lead to serious complications. Buck and colleagues developed a mutated protein that stopped this excessive fibrous tissue growth.

“Six years ago, we showed a way to prevent or stop the excessive scarring in animal models,” said Buck. “Our latest finding proves that we can actually reverse the damage.”

Worldwide, almost 800,000 people die from liver cirrhosis each year, and there is currently no treatment for it. Excessive tissue repair in chronic liver disease induced by viral, toxic, immunologic and metabolic disorders all result in excessive scar tissue, and could benefit from therapy developed from the UCSD researchers’ findings.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and UCSD’s Medical Research Foundation. Buck is the recipient of a Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute.


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70 thoughts on “Researchers halt, reverse cirrhosis of the liver”


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  4. Reading these types of things is always a frustration. I remember as a child seeingsee cool pictures of “concept cars”, and then looking on the street see the typical GM box car. From presentation of concept car to reality either never happens or happens 20 years later. Our system of going from study top reality in the drug domain is so damn slow. When my mom died of cancer in 1977 I remember somone saying, “boy if she only had lived a few years more they could have cured it. B______t, Where are all the wonder drug? The only drug news I hear about are the ones that kill us…Vioxx et al.
    Here’s my prediction: the aformentioned substance for reversing Cirrhosis will be available in 20 years.

  5. Need exact info if any drug really exists now for reverse cirrhosis of the liver. I am at the advanced stage of this illness.
    If anyone knows this RSK thing works well to cure this desease, please email me to [email protected]
    Appreciate it.

  6. How many decades away is this suppose to be? Sounds good but will it go any farther then a story or or science lab?

  7. I am in dire search for a cure for my son with Cystic Fibrosis, he has cirrhosis of the liver from his CF. He is my life and only 17. Any information would be appreciative.

    • Hi, ” Hemp oil Cures Cancer ”
      I hope everything is ok, lookup
      “Run from the cure” (Rick Simpson)
      Hard to believe at first until I did research,
      and I was blown away. I make “cannabutter for my wife
      and it was amazing, the high grade hemp oil that
      Mr.Simpson refers to is the best to take for all
      kinds of problems we suffer, ”
      I know it works!” Good luck and do research on this

  8. My name is Shelly Coss. My husband has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. We lost our insurance when he lost his job due to no work. If anybody is having any success with herbs or alternative medicine please let me know. my e-mail is [email protected] Will be waiting for a reply. Thank you

    • hi. sorry to hear about your situation. here’s my story. 2 yrs. ago had variceal bleedout, 1.5 quarts of blood vomited. diagnosed that nite with cirrhosis. have read like it’s my job…and if i don’t do it, all 7 of my dr.’s are less than brilliant, including 5 at Vanderbilt.

      guess what… my meld score started at 7, then 10 last yr. now 10 to 11 after 2.5 years. i take: curcumin (the bcm-95 version..created by baylor college of medicine) 2 at a time, 4 times a stay in blood..amazing. u should read about nanocurc, the vaccine johns hopkins is testing in cancer, alzheimer’s, etc. with curcumin!!!

      also, good multivitamin and mineral, like centrum for men.
      i LIVE on Milk Thistle…Walmart $8.00!!! 2 softgels, 4 times a day.
      also Wmart Zinc 1 / day.
      Selenium 200 mcg 1 to 2 / day…Vanderbilt did big works.
      Lecithin concentrate 400mg Walmart…3 at a time, 3 times / day.
      Melatonin is also an Antifibrotic and helps to sleep as well. 5mg (2 to 3 before sleep) once or twice a day.

      Repeat After me. 2 words. Antifibrotic. Antioxidant. Also, ask Dr. about Iron. For me, NO Iron. None. No red meat. Very little meat, except tuna or salmon (wild caught, frozen walmart..not expensive)..

      Beans, legumes, for protein and nuts..preferably only walnuts or almonds.
      also, milk, easy protein to digest.

      no High Fructose Corn Syrup. Goodbye, Coke! Read All Labels.

      Limit Total Sodium to 2000 or less, maybe 1500 mg PER DAY.. hard to do.

      bottled water, no fizz, no sweetner… just plain bottled water with lemon wedges.. livers love lemons… squeeze the juice fresh from a wedge into water, then drop wedge into water.

      Cheap medicine, needed: probably Nadolol for high blood pressure..generic, very, very cheap.

      also, spironolactone for diuretic to prevent ascites. ascites is a big challenge, as it leads to a DECOMPENSATED State of Cirrhosis.
      Vanderbilt just told me i am in better shape now than when it all Started!
      I have stopped 5 prescription medicines…they all have little side effects and interactions it seems.

      I also watch Joyce Meyer for spiritual enlightenment and Andrew Wommack, both are online with years of episodes. uplifting!

      ALL CAPS ON PURPOSE>>>>>Google Liver Fibrosis…look at all the news.
      There Are Many Multibillion $ Co’s. tripping over themselves to get the medicine out there …the ANTIFIBROTIC that will also reverse heart damage, kidney damage, lung fibrosis… it’s all the same concept…Thank goodness for Greed, as the Diabesity epidemic diabetic type 2, due to obesity (30% of weight is bodyfat). Cure for Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease urgently needed. Also, Huge, Giant Great News for Hepatitis C cure in news over last 2 months, especially November, 2011.

      Go to This is the clearinghouse for Medical Experimental and Clinical Trials in the U.S. and Abroad…the entire world of information at your fingertips.

      Find out your platelet count. Mine is around 60,000. Normal is 150,000 to 400,000. I was below that when i was diagnosed.

      I am Living With this Disease. Eager, looking forward to prescription type cure within 2 to 3 years….if not sooner!!!!! Really!!! Big $ for Huge Market.

      May God Bless and Keep You Near to His Heart. You will make it through this.

      just like me. mike

      • Hi Mike. My husband has been diagnosed with stage 4 liver disease with cirrhosis. He has had bleeding varicies also. I am glad to hear you are improving. Have your actual liver scans or MRI’s shown improvement in the appearance of your liver? My husband was told he will need a transplant in five years. He liver disease is non alcoholic.

        • is a site explains how Lloyd cured himself from not only cirhosis but liver cancer as well. He got Hep C thru blood transfusions. He has since his recovery taken it upon himself to provide peptides and supplemetns that he learned about with great difficulty in his quest to save his own live through his 9-year-old (now) non profit site. Go to the bottom of the AMS site and clikc on “interviews” to review Lloyd’s set of YouTube interviews which tell the story in a nutshell. Buy his “Triumph Over Hep C” book and it will convince you he is on the level. Best of luck. Varicies is curable as well and discussed in one of the videos. Good Luck.

      • hi mike –
        greatly enjoyed your narrative above –
        i’m a big fan of joyce meyer & andrew wommack too – both are highly anointed teachers!
        would love to establish contact w/you and could use an encouraging pen pal! i have ald too – stage 2 they think but biopsy soon to confirm. are you a member of any of the liver disease support websites?

      • hi mike –
        i greatly enjoyed your narrative above –
        i too am a big fan of joyce meyer & andrew wommack too – both are highly anointed teachers!
        would love to establish contact w/you and could use an encouraging pen pal! i have ald too – stage 2 they think but biopsy soon to confirm. are you by chance a member of any of the liver disease support websites?
        best wishes –

  9. They allways claim to be close to a cure for some
    Disease but notice it never happens? They usaully say things like five or ten years then twenty years go by never to be heard of again these stories pop up then dwindles away truth is they give false hope making it apear that science is advancing when the truth is we are still living in medicine the way we did 30 years ago. Still no cures for anything. Yet computer technology doubles every two years

  10. Thanks for this informative post. It is a good time to start thinking about the importance of liver treament with alternative medicines. After lots of clinical research and tests, it has been proved that Liv.52 leads to an improvement in the architecture of the liver. Hepatic function tests and needle biopsy specimens show a definite improvement in hepatocellular function and structure. Regular intake of Liv.52 guarantees an increase in the number of the total mass of functioning hepatocytes. Also, the liver enzymes return to normal levels following an increase in total proteins, albumin and haemoglobin.We are direct resellers of Himalaya Liv 52 in Europe.Our website will provide a wealth of information, advice and recommendations on how you can improve your liver function using alternative medicines.Web-URL:-

  11. I would like to know if any supplement company is manufacturing this RSK inhibitory peptide. They do not mention a name or possible chemical component to this peptide so it will be hard to track down.

    In the mean time quite drinking, quit eating processed foods, start to eat whole foods and buy a juicer.

    The following protocol may slow down the progression of the disease for some individuals.

    1/2 lemon and water 1st thing in the morning
    Branch Chain amino acids 1 heaping tsp per day – empty stomach
    Milk Thistle – 800 to 1200 mg per day ( capsules)empty stomach
    Same – 400 mg 3 to 4 times per day empty stomach
    Vitamin C 3000mg per day
    B12 1000mcg to 5000mcg per day sublingual – empty stomach
    Folic Acid 400 – 800mg – with food
    B6 100+ mg per day. – with food
    ***Do not take niacin ( B3) take all other B vitamins individually
    Fiber – like psyllium powder
    Lots of water

    Eat well as malnutrition is a big problem with this disease. Protein is very important so if you are a vegan or veggie please break it by at least incorporating the Branch Chain Amino Acids.

    Good luck

    • Thank you for all the Practical, Useful, Accurate info. Really.

      Also, have you considered the following:

      Alpha-lipoic acid 800 – 1200 mg / day total (400 x 2 – 3 / day)
      This helps the endothelial cells, also many other benefits. Needed by damaged livers, it’s a prescription included in liver disease in Germany! OTC here, Walmart.

      Grape Seed Extract –Wonderful Antioxidant $7.00 Walmart 2 caps w/food 3xday

      Choline 2 to 4 tabs/ caps per day.

      Melatonin, up to 20mg at a time, 3 x daily….strong antifibrotic, antioxidant!

      No iron in Multivitamin. Especially men.

      Modified Citrus Pectin, reduces Galectin-3, trials show reversal of liver fibrosis. see NIH.Gov website, key in modified citrus pectin, cirrhosis and galectin-3. You will learn a lot. Empowerment over this illness thru self-education; it works.

      If platelets above 100,000, research gingko biloba, korean panax ginseng,
      ginger. All 3 are shown to reverse liver fibrosis. It’s at also. By the way, NIH is the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. They work with FDA and pharmaceutical co’s. to present clinical trial results, etc.

      Magnesium (over 70% of U.S. is deficient) $4.00 Walmart. 600 mg per day. Helps Cure constipation. Rids body of toxic rotting poop. In Cirrhosis, an inflammatory and vascular disease, it’s important to be careful not to strain when trying to poop. I had colonoscopy and butt surgery same day as variceal endoscopy. Hopefully, since i was out (general anesthesia), they did my throat first.:))
      I was almost dead for a week 3 years ago after the gastric/variceal hemorrhage. Now, according to formulas, I should have about 17 years, EVEN though I started as End Stage….Stage 4 Cirrhosis. Hope and Prayers, Love and Information, Genuine Care for You ABOUNDS. There is Information and CCCCCheap, over the counter supplementation along with generic medicine for virtually ALL of Us. Dr. Arshad is in Bowling Green, KY. Gastroenterologist. Limit radiation, xrays, dye contrast . check 2x yr. for liver cancer…find hospital with charity if uninsured, low income. If platelets below 60,000 prefer gym machines AND Elastic Bands to free weights. Remember, no straining. Caution lifting 1 yr. olds, like my nephew at 25 lbs.

      Focus on the solution. Set some goals. We’re here for a long time. Do what you can the second you feel well enough to do so. There can be bumps in the road. Get ready. Receive new diagnosis, information…then move forward.

      Be thankful for the energy and health you have and use it. Help someone less fortunate. Because you can. and it will make you both feel uplifted.

      love to all, mike

  12. so, whens this supose to happen?they have been making lots of claims that there close to curing lots of diseses like diabetes and aids,but i dont see it happening there allways making these kind of claims.

  13. so, whens this supose to happen?they have been making lots of claims that there close to curing lots of diseses like diabetes and aids,but i dont see it happening there allways making these kind of claims.

  14. I’m so glad to see someone else sees what I see. People have no idea that they are being mislead; all in the name of money. Yes, there are cures! I’ll give you one example of the bullshit in this country… Kidney Stones. It has been known for at least 20 years that a natural gut bacteria (pro-biotic) called ‘Oxalobacter Formigenes’ prevents clacium oxalate stones when present in the human gut. It is normally present, however, certain antibiotics can wipe it out leaving you vulnerable to these stones. Put it up on the “more studies needed shelf”…….

  15. I am currently reversing my cirrhosis, my numbers all came down drastically these past few months, and I am not “taking” any cure. My doc put me on an ALL ORGANIC diet, no alcohol, no preservatives, etc. That’s it. (well, exercise, but they say that for EVERYTHING).

    The liver is regenerative, as everyone tells me, and mine seems to be. If you are looking at liver damage or disease, I highly recommend the all organic lifestyle. I’ve been on it since the summer, and it’s only 6 months later that my numbers are all within normal limits.

    Good luck to you.

    • What stage was you diagnosed. My husband was diagnosed stage four. The medical field offers me no hope. We lost our insurance along with his job. We are now trying alternative medicine. He seems to feel better and he definately looks better.

      • My father died today of liver Cirrhosis 11 months after being diagnosed with it. What an ugly, cruel death to watch. Rest in peace father, and god bless.

        Good luck top the rest of you guys out there.

    • Hi, I had 2 liver function test with normal results. I drank heavy for 7 years and worry about damage. Are the test reliable? What can I do to heal up? I quit drinking almost 2 months ago. Many thanks!

  16. We have a plant juice which is very active agaginst diabetic. But when the plant part is kept for few days, few microorganism grow inside plant part. The contaminated plant juice also reduces Blood glucose level of mouse but seriousely affected the liver and within 12 hours the treated mice died. On the other hand the fresh plant juice treated mice survive.
    This juice prevent alloxan action to induce diabetic on mice. This is a great finding about this plant juice.
    We are now searching the cause of such toxicity. We are also trying to find out whether this juice could recover diabetic induced mice to normal. Since it reduces blood sugar level and lipid profile of the alloxan induced diabetic mice and also prevent alloxan action in the process of inducing diabetic, we are expecting a good antidiabetic drug from it. This drug will not only control diabetic but may cure diabetic diseases.

    Dr.Md. Anwar Ul Islam
    Department of Pharmacy
    University of Rajshahi
    Email: [email protected]

  17. the cure will sit on a shelf because like stated before no money in a cure just the toxic treatments how many times before have you heard of these posible cures that are just forgoten about its allways the same thing ten years there will be a cure but we have yet to even cure one person of any illness a true cure

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