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A. Chinese Medicine Enhances Treatment of Hepatitis B Patients

Narrator: This is Science Today. New research has found that Chinese herbal medicine, combined with standard therapy, can enhance the treatment outcomes for patients with chronic Hepatitis B. Michael McCulloch, who led the University of California, Berkeley study, says current therapy for chronic hepatitis B is a drug called interferon alfa.

McCulloch: What we found was the patients using herbal medicine plus interferon had a better outcome than people using interferon alone. So the herbs were basically able to enhance the effectiveness of interferon in treating chronic infection.

Narrator: Overall, the study found that Chinese medicine combined with interferon was twice as effective as interferon alone in reducing hepatitis B viral load to undetectable levels. McCulloch hopes this study promotes broader awareness of eastern medicine's potential to improve the effectiveness of conventional care.

McCulloch: The best role for Chinese medicine is really in combination with conventional care as an adjunctive or complimentary treatment. The obligation is really on both sides, on the conventional western end and the Chinese practitioner's end to really take efforts to work together.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.