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If I Have Hepatitis C, Can I Take Supplements for My Liver?

Are any supplements good for my liver?
 

 
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Answer

If you have hepatitis C, you probably want to do everything you can to protect your liver and prevent damage. Many people wonder if supplements will help. At this time, there simply isn't enough evidence to say for certain that any particular supplement is beneficial for people with hepatitis C.

One of the more popular and widely studied supplements promoted for liver health is silymarin, an antioxidant found in milk thistle. While studies haven't shown that silymarin (or milk thistle) is harmful, there also isn't any strong evidence showing it works to protect the liver in people with hepatitis C.
 
Studies that have shown benefits of milk thistle in liver disease have generally been small or poorly designed, and in one recent study, silymarin appeared to be no better than a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients) at preventing liver disease in people with hepatitis C. And, because it can potentially interact with other medicines, you'll want to check with your healthcare provider first if you're interested in using it.
 
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