Several dietary and herbal supplements have been studied for hepatitis C, and substantial numbers of people with hepatitis C have tried herbal supplements. The most commonly used supplement for hepatitis C is silymarin (an extract from milk thistle). However, no dietary supplement has been shown to be efficacious for hepatitis C.
This issue provides information on what the science says about several dietary supplements studied for hepatitis C.
Condition and Summary of Current Evidence
Current research suggests that milk thistle is no better than placebo as a treatment for hepatitis C.
Only a few studies have examined the effects of probiotics on hepatitis C, and of those studies, there isn’t any clear evidence that probiotics are helpful in people with hepatitis C.
Preliminary studies, most of which were conducted outside the United States, have found that zinc supplements might help to correct zinc deficiencies associated with hepatitis C, reduce some symptoms, or improve patients’ response to treatment, but the evidence for these possible benefits is limited.
There is currently insufficient evidence to determine if glycyrrhizin is efficacious for hepatitis C.