Hepatitis C and Vitamins
When taken in normal amounts (such as in diets with plenty of milk), vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining good health. The body can also make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Taking supplements of 800 IU of vitamin D daily may be helpful for people with poor diets, those dealing with long winter seasons, or people who are housebound. For people with hepatitis C, supplements with doses greater than 2,000 IU should not be taken.
Vitamin K is involved mostly in blood clotting. It is present in the diet mostly in green vegetables. It also is produced by bacteria in the intestines. Vitamin K supplements generally are not taken, nor are they recommended.
Why Do People With Hepatitis C Use Vitamins?There can be a number of reasons why people with hepatitis C use vitamins. Some common reasons include the following:
- They have not had a response to initial treatment or to re-treatment with hepatitis C medication.
- They are not willing to have drug treatment or continue it -- for example, because of the side effects or length of treatment.
- They are experiencing problems from other diseases and conditions that can be caused or made worse by hepatitis C.
- They would like to support their body's fight against damage by hepatitis C, and they hear of benefits claimed for some vitamins or other treatments -- such as "strengthens the immune system" or "cleanses and rejuvenates the liver" (or other organs).
- They are not satisfied with their conventional medical treatment.
As always, if you have any additional questions about hepatitis C and vitamins, talk to your healthcare provider. Together you can come up with a treatment plan that works for your particular situation.