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Ask the Expert: Will over-the-counter supplements cure Hepatitis C?

Will over-the-counter supplements cure Hepatitis C?

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Infection control specialists at St. Elizabeth Healthcare say a number over-the-counter products and supplements that are now being marketed to cure Hepatitis C are not based on sound science.

They say the virus can clear the body in some people on its own, but for others, the proper prescription “targeted therapy” is critical to long term survival.

“It doesn't go one single day that I don’t see not just the Hepatitis C per se, but also the complications of the drug user who is a Hepatitis C infected patient,” said Dr. Dora Savani, a St. Elizabeth Healthcare Infectious Disease Specialist.

Dr. Dora Savini says that contaminated needles in drug use often spread Hepatitis C.

It is a virus, she says, infection control specialists must treat or it can shut down the liver, and lead to liver cancer.

“The specific drug you use; it depends on what you call the ‘genotype,’ and depending on what genotype you have, we choose a medication, and those are called direct antiviral agents around four weeks after you have been on therapy you can have an undetectable viral load,” said Dr. Savini. “There is no data, none whatsoever, that any specific diet helps with Hepatitis C.”

Having said that, eating healthy foods for a healthy weight, reducing alcohol and not using marijuana and quitting smoking are recommended for anyone diagnosed with Hepatitis C.

Obesity, marijuana, and smoking, can lead to rapid progression of liver disease.

The important thing to note is that your health care provider can measure this virus in your body, and tell you if you need the targeted therapy.

Insurance coverage for this medication is better than it was before, but you do usually need to meet specific criteria.

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