A drug usually prescribed to people suffering from hypertension could also help to reverse the effects of early-stage liver disease, a team of scientists from Newcastle University believe.
Research carried out by the academics involved giving 14 Hepatitis C sufferers the blood pressure drug Iosartan.
And while all patients showed signs of liver scarring at the start of the experiment, this had been reduced among half of them after they had been given a full course of the drug, suggesting that it could help not just decelerate but also reverse the effects of liver disease.
Professor Derek Mann from Newcastle University said: "At the moment we have no proven effective way of treating people with chronic liver disease other than transplantation.
"This early stage trial has shown that we can shrink liver scarring in some patients and shows promise for a treatment that could make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of people."
In addition to those with Hepatitis, liver damage can also be caused by obesity and alcohol abuse, as well as being a hereditary condition.