Ursodeoxycholic acid Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is a chemical called a bile acid. It occurs naturally in bile and can be used to dissolve gallstones. The liver produces bile that is stored in the gall bladder. Bile is released by the gall bladder to aid the digestion of fats. It consists of cholesterol dissolved within bile salts. Gallstones occur in the gall bladder as a result of too much cholesterol, or too few bile salts within the bile. The imbalance causes excess cholesterol to separate out of the bile and form stones. Ursodeoxycholic acid causes gallstones to dissolve by a mechanism that is not fully understood. It is known to reduce the production of cholesterol by the liver and also to reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the gut. Both of these actions decrease the amount of cholesterol that passes into the bile. Also, since ursodeoxycholic acid is a bile acid itself, it increases the level of bile acids within the bile. The combination of these two factors reverses the imbalance and stops the cholesterol separating out of the bile. The gallstones then begin to dissolve. Extrahepatic cholestasis -- which occurs outside the liver -- can be caused by bile duct tumors, strictures, cysts, diverticula, and other damage. Other potential causes for this type include stones in the common bile duct, pancreatitis, pancreatic tumor or pseudocyst, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and compression due to a mass or tumor on a nearby organ. Intrahepatic cholestasis -- which occurs inside the liver -- can be caused by sepsis (generalized infection), bacterial abscess, drugs, total parenteral nutrition (being fed intravenously), lymphoma, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis and amyloidosis. Other causes of this form of the disorder include primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, viral hepatitis (A,B,C, etc.), alcoholic liver disease, pregnancy, Sjogren's syndrome and others. -Symptoms include the following: -Itching -Jaundiced (yellow) skin or eyes -Inability to digest certain foods -Nausea, vomiting -Right upper quadrant abdominal pain -Organ failure in cases of sepsis (but not from cholestasis itself) -Rash or fever in some cases of drug-induced cholestasis -Clay-colored or white stools -Dark urine Often times a panel of standard liver function tests will show cholestasis before the symptoms even manifest themselves, but in general laboratory tests have limited diagnostic value. Transaminase (ALT, AST), alkaline phosphate, and bilirubin levels are typically elevated in proportion to the severity of the disease. AST and ALT can be elevated by exercise, so those are not particularly helpful in diagnosing cholestasis (1). UDCA exerts a number of therapeutic effects which prevent and treat cholestasis. For instance, we mentioned the bile transport pump. UDCA has been shown to stimulate enzymes that increase the density of these bile transporters, allowing bile to exit the liver more readily (2,3). UDCA also protects hepatocytes (liver cells) against bile induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) (2). Whatever the primary mechanism is for AAS induced cholestasis, UDCA has proven effective in treating the condition. Quoting from one study, Interestingly, there seems to be a genetic disposition to the development of drug induced cholestasis (5). This may explain why only some subjects develop the disease and others can endure heavy research of 17-alpha alkylated orals. Cholestasis as well as hepatitis caused by non 17-alpha alkylated injectable steroids has been reported, but is rare. Cholestasis can be caused by estrogen as well, both synthetic and endogenous. It is not uncommon for cholestasis to develop during pregnancy, when estrogen levels are high. It’s possible the rare reported cases of testosterone induced cholestasis might be due to elevated estrogen levels in susceptible individuals. It should be stressed that if one develops the symptoms of drug induced cholestasis, the first line of treatment is to immediately discontinue the drug, and begin treatment with UDCA. Although there are no studies showing UDCA exerts any prophylactic effects against AAS induced cholestasis, the proposed mechanism whereby it upregulates hepatic bile transporters suggests it may very well help prevent the disease by increasing bile flow out of the liver. Once the offending drug is withdrawn, and UDCA therapy begun, the disease typically resolves. UDCA has also been shown to lower both total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol via at least two different mechanisms. In one study (6) researchers observed that UDCA lowered the hepatic (liver) production of cholesterol by interfering with a key enzyme in cholesterol synthesis. In another study, UDCA was administered to animals with moderately elevated cholesterol, somewhat typical of what is seen in many people subsisting on high fat western diets. Here UDCA lowered plasma LDL by increasing the number of LDL binding sites on the liver, allowing for greater LDL uptake by the liver (7). When bile enters the digestive tract, a certain portion is reabsorbed, leading to cholesterol reuptake. UDCA seems to block a portion of this cholesterol reuptake, providing for yet another mechanism whereby UDCA lowers cholesterol (8). Dosages of commercial brands of UDCA vary depending on the type and severity of liver disease. In research for preventative purposes 500 mg per day might be sufficient. Once liver disease has developed a typical recommended dose is 13 to 15 mg/kg/day which may be given in 2 divided doses, i.e. in the morning and at evening, with food. UDCA contains 60 Tablets, 250 MG's each tablet. Intended for Research purposes only. (1) Pertusi R, Dickerman RD, McConathy WJ Evaluation of aminotransferase elevations in a bodybuilder using anabolic steroids: hepatitis or rhabdomyolysis? J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2001 Jul;101(7):391-4. (2) Paumgartner G, Beuers U. Ursodeoxycholic acid in cholestatic liver disease: mechanisms of action and therapeutic use revisited. Hepatology. 2002 Sep;36(3):525-31. (3) Micheline D, Emmanuel J, Serge E. Effect of Ursodeoxycholic Acid on the Expression of the Hepatocellular Bile Acid Transporters (Ntcp and bsep) in Rats With Estrogen-Induced Cholestasis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2002 Aug;35(2):185-91. (5) Velayudham LS, Farrell GC. Drug-induced cholestasis. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2003 May;2(3):287-304. (6) Miettinen TE, Tarpila S, Gylling H. The effects of ursodeoxycholic acid on serum and biliary noncholesterol sterols in patients with gallstones. Hepatology. 1997 Mar;25(3):514-8 (7) Ceryak S, Bouscarel B, Malavolti M, Robins SJ, Caslow KL, Fromm H. Effect of ursodeoxycholic acid on hepatic LDL binding and uptake in dietary hypercholesterolemic hamsters. Atherosclerosis. 2000 Nov;153(1):59-67 (8) Eusufzai S, Ericsson S, Cederlund T, Einarsson K, Angelin B. Effect of ursodeoxycholic acid treatment on ileal absorption of bile acids in man as determined by the SeHCAT test. Gut. 1991 Sep;32(9):1044-8
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Checkout Process Site Navigation Shipping Customer Service Product QualityRonon 7/26/10Great product. Great peace of mind. Good to have with milk thistle and liv52 for research
Shipping Customer Service Product Quality Checkout Process Site NavigationTomoon 12/30/09Best liver profile I've ever had was on this
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Customer Service Product Quality Checkout Process Site Navigation ShippingChad S.on 7/24/09I'm glad you carry UDCA
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Shipping Customer Service Product Quality Checkout Process Site NavigationTerry S.on 7/19/09There is no question in my mind, UDCA works better and faster than Milk Thistle....by a landslide! I will never use milkthistle again! Plus, this bottle of UDCA will last me through several stages of "research"! Good price, also..
Shipping Customer Service Product Quality Checkout Process Site NavigationGary G.on 7/19/09There is not much information on UDCA on the open forums, but everything i did find has pointed me right to you guys, so i was very glad to find this write-up and product decription on your site... Very good info! I've purchased some chems before from one of your older stores, which worked out great! I've been trying to take a very objective approach to UDCA, and i think i've found everything i'm looking for! Thanks for all the info, i'll be adding UDCA to my tamox order! Thanks!