You are in the right place if you have hep c.Keep reading the posts and educate yourself further,you will need to know your genotype and find out from your doctor more info about how your liver is functioning.
I think there have been animal studies with milk thistle where it was shown to have protected the liver against certain toxins.Milk thistle alone would probably not help an aweful lot (my opinion),you would be better combining it with lifestyle changes such as abstaining from alcohol,exercise,diet and maybe even treatment-depending on what your doctor recommends.
There is no consensus among hepatologists about taking mik thistle, so for that reason I wouldn't do it.
That said, there are members here who have reported that their hepatologists had no problem with their patients taking it.
Some hepatologists say it's okay to take only before or after treatment itself and some say it's even okay to take during treatment.
I would definitely look to the advice of your own hepatologist in this matter, if you want to pursue it.
I'm a no-take nada person but do want to point out this study to you:
Inhibition of T-cell inflammatory cytokines, hepatocyte NF-kappaB signaling, and HCV infection by standardized silymarin.
Polyak SJ, Morishima C, Shuhart MC, Wang CC, Liu Y, Lee DY.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Department of Pathobiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Background & Aims: Chronic hepatitis C is a serious global medical problem necessitating effective treatment. Because standard of care with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin therapy is costly, has significant side effects, and fails to cure about half of all infections, many patients seek complementary and alternative medicine to improve their health, such as Silymarin, derived from milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Milk thistle's clinical benefits for chronic hepatitis C are unsettled due to variability in standardization of the herbal product. Methods: In the current study, we focused on the anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of a standardized Silymarin extract (MK-001). Results: MK-001 inhibited expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in anti-CD3 stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and nuclear factor kappa B-dependent transcription in human hepatoma Huh7 cells. Moreover, MK-001 dose dependently inhibited infection of Huh7 and Huh7.5.1 cells by JFH-1 virus. MK-001 displayed both prophylactic and therapeutic effects against HCV infection, and when combined with interferon-alpha, inhibited HCV replication more than interferon-alpha alone. Commercial preparations of Silymarin also displayed antiviral activity, although the effects were not as potent as MK-001. Antiviral effects of the extract were attributable in part to induction of Stat1 phosphorylation, while interferon-independent mechanisms were suggested when the extract was biochemically fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography. Silybin A, silybin B, and isosilybin A, isosilybin B elicited the strongest anti-NF-kappaB and anti-HCV actions. These effects were independent of MK-001-induced cytotoxicity. Conclusions: The data indicate that Silymarin exerts anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects, and suggest that complementary and alternative medicine-based approaches may assist in the management of patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Here are 2 studies in which IV MT was used. This isn't the type of MT that one can buy at Costco but I don't believe a blanket dismissal is warranted. In addition to being an antiviral, I believe it has been shown to aid in general liver health as well.
Silibinin as Rescue Therapy for Suboptimal Response to Peg/Rbv
Successful prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV)
liver graft reinfection by silibinin mono-therapy
but an additional question is "can it hurt"? i am stage 3 G 1a, and about to see my Hepatologist. I am not in treatment yet. I decided to start taking MT 2 days ago and i DO feel less pain in the URQ. now is it the placebo effect, who knows. At this point, the throbbing pain was keeping me up at night. Will it work for everybody, will it continue to work for me? who knows. but i do notice a difference.
I will let the DR know i started taking it and will totally do what he directs me to do. it's sound advice to stop drinking, exercise, improve your diet and be positive....the MT is just another thing to do for yourself.
I would like to see HR's opinion on Milk Thistle. I personally think it has some liver protective value and should be considered along with other supplements if NOT treating. There are enough studies to warrant taking this.
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