Hepatitis C and Vitamins
If you have hepatitis C, vitamins (such as vitamins A and K) may actually make your liver disease worse. People with hepatitis C should not take supplements of vitamin K and should avoid doses of vitamin D that are greater than 2,000 IU. At high doses, vitamin E can thin the blood, so people with hepatitis C should not take doses greater than 400 IU. It's important to avoid high doses of these -- and other -- vitamins if you have hepatitis C. Vitamins in large doses can cause additional harm to the liver.
Hepatitis C and Vitamins: An OverviewIt is reported that up to 50 percent of people with hepatitis C use vitamins or other alternative treatments. But before taking any vitamins for hepatitis C, there are some things you should be aware of. Some vitamins, along with "mega-doses" of other vitamins, can actually make liver disease worse.
Hepatitis C and Vitamins: General RecommendationsThe best way to get vitamins and minerals is through food (see Hepatitis C Diet). Food provides the greatest range of nutrients. However, a multivitamin supplement can be helpful, especially if you lose your appetite or can't eat a healthy diet.
If you have hepatitis C and take vitamins, don't exceed the recommended doses. Some vitamins in high amounts can be dangerous, particularly fat-soluble vitamins such as:
It's important to avoid high doses of vitamins if your liver is diseased because many megavitamins can hurt it even more.
Before taking any vitamins, be sure to talk to your healthcare providers. They are most familiar with your situation and are in the best position to discuss the benefits and possible risks of vitamins or other alternative treatments for hepatitis C with you.
Avoid any vitamins that promise to cure hepatitis C. Interferon treatment, alone and particularly in combination with ribavirin and a hepatitis C protease inhibitor, is the only treatment that has been proven to cure hepatitis C in some cases. Avoid any treatment for hepatitis C that is not available in the United States or costs a lot of money.