Hepatitis

Also indexed as:Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C
Get a handle on hepatitis. This common liver disease can be severe, or even fatal, so it is important to know the facts. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Supplement Amount Why
Flavonoids
500 to 750 mg daily of catechins 3 stars [3 stars]
The flavonoid catechin has helped people with acute viral hepatitis, as well as people with chronic hepatitis.
Betaine (Trimethylglycine)

(Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis)
20 grams daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Supplementing with zinc (in the form of a zinc complex of L-carnosine) enhanced the response to interferon therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C in a preliminary trial.
Cordyceps
3 to 4.5 grams twice per day 2 stars [2 stars]
Cordyceps has repeatedly been shown effective in trials at improving liver and immune function in people with chronic hepatitis B, including those with cirrhosis.
Licorice Intravenous
Take under medical supervision: 2.5 grams licorice three times per day providing 750 mg glycyrrhizin 2 stars [2 stars]
One of the active constituents in licorice, glycyrrhizin, has been used to some benefit in Japan as an injected therapy for hepatitis B and C.
Milk Thistle
420 mg of silymarin daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Supplementing with milk thistle may support the liver.
Peony
1 to 3 grams three times per day 2 stars [2 stars]
Red peony root has been shown to be helpful for people with viral hepatitis.
Phyllanthus
900 to 2,700 mg daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Taking the herb phyllanthus may be beneficial for people with hepatitis B.
SAMe

(Cholestasis)
1,600 mg daily 2 stars [2 stars]
Supplementing with SAMe may help resolve blocked bile flow.
Sho-Saiko-To (Bupleurum, Peony, Pinellia, Cassia, Ginger, Jujube, Asian Ginseng, Asian Scullcap, and Licorice)
Take 2.5 grams of sho-saiko-to three times per day 2 stars [2 stars]
Trials have shown that the bupleurum-containing formula sho-saiko-to can help reduce symptoms and blood liver enzyme levels in people with chronic active viral hepatitis.
Thymus Extracts
200 mg of crude extracts or 40 mg purified proteins three times per day 2 stars [2 stars]
Proteins from the thymus gland, an important part of the immune system, may have a beneficial effect in people with chronic hepatitis B and C.
Vitamin B1
100 mg daily 2 stars [2 stars]
In a preliminary report, three patients with chronic hepatitis B had an improvement in the severity of their hepatitis after supplementing with thiamine (vitamin B1).
Zinc

(Hepatitis C)
Take zinc L-carnosine supplying 17 mg zinc twice per day 2 stars [2 stars]
In a preliminary trial, supplementing with betaine improved signs of liver inflammation in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a type of liver inflammation.
Açaí
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Açaí root tea has been used as a traditional remedy for hepatitis.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
In one trial, a combination of alpha lipoic acid, silymarin, and selenium led to significant improvements in liver function and overall health in people with hepatitis C.
Andrographis
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Andrographis, a traditional Indian herb, has been shown to help people with chronic viral hepatitis.
Astragalus
2.5 grams licorice three times per day providing 750 mg glycyrrhizin, taken under the supervision of a doctor 1 star [1 star]
Early clinical trials in China suggest astragalus root might benefit people with chronic viral hepatitis.
Chinese Scullcap
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Chinese skullcap may be useful for liver infections.
Lecithin (Phosphatidyl Choline)
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Taking phosphatidylcholine (found in lecithin) was found to be beneficial in one study of people with chronic hepatitis B.
Licorice Oral
200 mg of crude extracts or 40 mg purified proteins three times per day 1 star [1 star]
One of the active constituents in licorice, glycyrrhizin, may be helpful for people with acute and chronic viral hepatitis.
Picrorhiza
1,600 mg daily 1 star [1 star]
A series of cases of acute viral hepatitis were reported by one group in India, showing picrorhiza, combined with a variety of minerals, to be helpful in hastening recovery.
Reishi
Take zinc L-carnosine supplying 17 mg zinc twice daily 1 star [1 star]
The mushroom reishi appears to be effective in treating chronic hepatitis B, according to preliminary research.
Schisandra
420 mg of silymarin per day 1 star [1 star]
Compounds called lignans in schisandra appear to promote regeneration of liver tissue that has been damaged by harmful influences, such as hepatitis viruses or alcohol.
Selenium
100 mg per 1 star [1 star]
In one trial, a combination of alpha lipoic acid, silymarin, and selenium led to significant improvements in liver function and overall health in people with hepatitis C.
Shiitake
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
One study found that shiitake formulations containing Lentinus edodes mycelium may help decrease blood markers of liver inflammation
Vitamin B12
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Vitamin B12 (with or without folic acid) has been reported in trials from the 1950s to help some people with hepatitis.
Vitamin C
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Vitamin C may be efffective at preventing hepatitis infection in people receiving blood transfusions and at treating viral hepatitis.
Vitamin E
900 to 2,700 mg per day 1 star [1 star]
Some trials have shown vitamin E to be helpful in treating hepatitis B and to reduce liver damage in people with hepatitis C.
Whey Protein
3 to 4.5 grams twice per day 1 star [1 star]
In one trial, supplementing with whey protein improved blood measures of liver dysfunction in people with hepatitis B.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.