When a kidney fails, patients can stay alive with dialysis machines. For failed hearts, there are pacemakers; for lungs, ventilators. For people whose livers fail each year, there is no mechanical life support, and currently 80 percent of them die.
Jenny and Chris were married just three months when Jenny became very ill. Chris remembers, “It just happened so quickly. That morning she was coherent, and two days later she was in Chapel Hill in a coma.”
Jenny’s liver had suddenly shut down. Her blood was filling with poisons.
Her doctor explains, “These patients come in, and it really is a race against time before they die or get a transplant.”
Time is just what this new machine can give patients like Jenny. It’s called a bioartificial liver and it filters the patient’s blood until a donor liver can be found or the failed liver heals on its own. Patients are hooked up six hours a day for two weeks. The patient’s blood is filtered through charcoal and liver cells from pigs.
“I think it’s really given patients and family members a ray of hope in a very grim time,” says Dr.
Jenny got a donated liver quickly. So she didn’t have to be put on the machine. “There are a lot of people that wait for a long time before they get a liver, and some people don’t get one,” she says.
In the near future, this artificial liver may help them hold out longer.
The bioartificial liver is not designed for patients with chronic liver disease, like hepatitis C. It’s meant for sudden liver failure, like Jenny’s. Sudden failure is most often caused by a viral infection but can also be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or taking too much of the pain reliever acetaminophen.
USANA Hepasil DTX is a carefully formulated blend of antioxidants aimed at supporting and maintaining the body’s second largest organ: the liver.
The main ingredient in Hepasil DTX is Milk Thistle Extract. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants currently known, and it helps to increase both the amount and the activity of several antioxidant enzyme systems involved in the detoxification process (including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the glutathione peroxidase system).
Other important antioxidants in USANA Hepasil DTX include alpha-lipoic acid, green tea extract, turmeric extract, and the patented olive fruit extract Olivol. Each of these helps to protect multiple enzyme systems in the liver, as well as providing secondary antioxidant protection to the rest of the body.
Additional key ingredients in Hepasil include choline (a precursor to betaine and a methyl-group donor in detoxification reactions), n-acetyl L-cysteine (a precursor to glutathione), and biotin (a key component of fatty acid synthesis).