Milk Thistle – My Experience - Does it really help ?
During the 3 months I am using Milk Thistle. The brand that I use is – Solgar.
I am with HCV since 1980, Stage 2-3 Grade 2-3. Here are my Lab results since I use Milk Thistle:
April 2007: ALT – 312, VL - 2050000 (600 IU/ml)
June 2007: ALT - 198 , VL – 1900000 (600 IU/ml)
Aug 2007: ALT – 372, AST – 187, Ferritin – 334, VL – 4110000 (600 IU/ml)
My impression so far from Milk Thistle: good findings – eliminate completely (almost) all side effects of the disease and I feel very good since I am using it. Bad findings – didn’t improve the Lab results.
I am thinking to change the brand (maybe switch to “Maximum Milk Thistle”).
I knew that Milk Thistle is not supposed to cure HCV neither to reduce VL but I expected that it will bring to norm the ALT and AST results.
My questions to the friend in the forum: anyone experienced better results with Milk Thistle? Can it be better if I change brand ? What is the recommended dosage (I take 3 capsules in a day, after meal, each capsule – 500 mg, I think that have no problem to take even much more).
I take Milk Thistle 3x a day but do not know if its helping any, until I have more blood work done. My hep doctor knows I am taking it but told me to stop when I start treatment. He did state taking Milk Thistle would not help my condition. I asked if it would cause any harm and he said " No " I figure seeing as I am not on treatment yet I have nothing to lose.
With that being said one of my friends contacted the Hep virus while in Vietnam. ( Blood transfusion ) He lived with the virus 25 or more years before knowing he had it. A few years ago he found out he had it and did 3 months of the interferon treatment. He had to stop tx due to swelling. His doctor told him to take Milk Thistle and he did, 2000mg a day. His blood work no longer shows the hep C virus.
I'm not suggesting one replace tx with Milk Thistle however, in my friends case the Milk Thistle sure seemed to help.
i think it can help some but with your #'s the way they are there is damage happening to your liver. iit is possible that your liver may be disagreeing with it and it is actully making your #'s rise! those are really high ALT & AST to rely on a supplement. you need to find out what is going on with your liver to have LFT's being that high. when was the last time you had a biopsy? have you ever treated? if not it may be time to forget the supps and start "real" therapy. best of luck
Your friend who seemed to get rid of the HCV with milk thistle could have been in the acute phase of the illness and not in the chronic phase. When you are in the acute phase your body's own immune system can make it go undetectable. The acute phase comes first, then later the chronic usually sets in.
I've been taking maximum milk thistle for years and my levels are always normal. I started taking it after I failed therapy, so I don't know what caused the improvement, but I'm not taking any chances. Just switched to UltraThistle from the same people. It's a higher dosage. I also take SAM-e and Vitamin E. My doctor said to keep taking the Vitamin E even though they have found some cardiac problems with it - said the benefits way outweighed the risks.
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