"What are good vitamins/supplements to take?"
Talk to your doctor as he/she knows you health status. We do not.
Milk thistle (silymarin) in a recent study has been shown to have no effect of liver health, by the way. Kava kava, vitamin A in high doses, mistletoe, germander and European barberry can all be toxic to the liver.
If you have a vitamin deficiencies you can be tested for it and add a vitamin to your diet. Such as Vitamin D if you have a low level in your blood.
Supplements can interact with the new antiviral drugs so should not be used. Before starting treatment.
If you are thinking about treatment you wouldn't want to interfere with your chances of cure by taking something that isn't going to help your liver disease anyway. Otherwise why do treatment.
Not sure I agree with all of your points. Yes, there are some vitamins and supplements that are contraindicated (I'm looking at you St. John's Wort and Vitamin A) but Vitamin E and the B vitamins are really important in my opinion. My husband is following Misha Cohen's protocol, and is doing incredibly well. Supposedly Vitamin E is essential for blood health. Of course, I would check with your doctor, but our doctor endorsed all the supplements outlined in Misha Cohen's protocol. Just my two cents...
Most of the time a multi-vitamin is ok to take both on tx and off. Of course you gotta talk to your doctor's so they know what you're taking. If I was on tx I would definitely take calcium for better dental heath and keep them pearly whites flossed, brushed and wet. As far as taking a bunch of pre-tx supplements, most would be wasting money. The simple advice that makes most sense is to have your doctor run your vitamin levels and work in that direction to correct a vitamin deficiency. Most of us are deficient in vitamin D. Milk Thistle has only been proven to cost money, as far as any benefits for a person with HepC?. No benefits exist.
I have been at stage 4 - cirrhosis for the 9+ years that I have been diagnosed with Hep C. I take Ultrathistle, a high strength milk thistle extract and I believe it helps me. My labs have been steady all these years with the exception of my platelets which dropped during the 2nd of my 3 treatments and never fully recovered. During my last Tx with daily Infergen, my platelets dropped to 6 and I had to stop. I am now on a platelet stimulator (Promacta) in preparation for my next Tx. My INR has always been steady at 1.1 -1.2, my AFP is always low. Maybe it is only in my mind that the Ultrathistle works, and maybe it isn't. Maybe because I believe it works, it does. Maybe there is something about that mind/body connection thing, maybe not...
I am starting triple treatment (Incivek) in February and as soon as my supply is gone, I will stop taking it. Hep C Advocate has a good list of herbal supplements and which ones should be avoided. As many of them are metabolized involving Cytochrome P-450, many should be avoided while on treatment. At the end of the list is a good explanation of what Cytochrome P-450 is and it is good knowledge to have. Here is the link to the list:
As far as vitamins/minerals, I take a 'mature' multivtamin (mature doesn't have iron) although I do take iron on the recommendation of my hepa and it has gotten rid of my anemia BUT you ALWAYS need to be ok'd before taking it and they need to run the correct tests before allowing you to take it!
My two cents includes that if you are told it is ok to take anything, double check, especially if the doctor is not a hepatologist
I take calcium with Vitamin D on the recommendation of my hepa.
I take a B complex. I used to suffer from occasional bouts of encephalopathy but have not had any since I have started taking it. Again, it works for me…
I do like Doc Misha and love the book that she wrote with Dr Gish although I don’t follow her protocol. Kinda expensive for my budget.
In addition, other things I have done that I believe have helped me to stay so stable all these years: Proper diet (helps immensely with my diabetes) including lotsa water, prayer and meditation (step 11), practicing the four agreements, yoga (tried tai chi but I couldn’t ever remember the movements!), and exercise. I always thought that exercise was the last thing I felt that I wanted to do and it was so hard at first, but now if I go a few days without it I quickly go back to that feel-like-I’m-fixin’-to-die state. Now I have started bodybuilding as well and I feel and look better now at 52 than I did when I was in my 30’s
As recommended, always check with your doctor and in the meantime, as Andy Dufresne said “Get busy living or get busy dying”
There have been several clinical studies that have shown a pretty large increase in SVR for those who take vitamin D during Tx.
I would suggest that you Google these yourself but here are a few tidbits
S. Abu Mouch and colleagues from Israel assessed whether adding a vitamin D supplement to standard hepatitis C therapy using pegylated interferon plus ribavirin could improve rates of sustained virological response (SVR),
In anothertudy, published in the April 2010 issue of Hepatology, S. Petta and colleagues from Italy looked at the association between vitamin D levels and histological and virological response to interferon-based therapy.
A third article in Hepatology magazine in November 2011explained some of the reasons why Vit D helped with Tx.
I agree with candyce1953 Everything I have read also says NOT to take any Iron Supplements
Diagnostic and therapeutical role of vitamin D in chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Cacopardo B, Camma C, Petta S, Pinzone MR, Cappellani A, Zanghi A, Nicolosi A, Nunnari G.
Source University of Catania, Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties, Division of Infectious Diseases, Via Palermo 636, Catania, Italy.
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