What liver supplements should I ask my doctor about?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Because of their lack of standard dosing and potential interaction with other drugs, certain supplements that have been found to help with liver function should be taken with the guidance of a doctor or herb expert. Two common one are milk thistle and dandelion supplements.

Milk thistle is considered the best supplement for liver health. Its powerful ingredients are flavonoids that protect against an unhealthy thickening of the liver, inflammation, and may help prime the body's immune system and antioxidant system.

Though its use is not supported by the reams of data I like to see, the evidence does suggest some positive effects, as well as confirms safety. The dose is 80 to 200 mg one to three times a day.

Dandelion is a member of the sunflower family, and one of the most nutrient-rich plants there is. The whole plant is edible, but the herb is a source of potassium, sodium, phosphorous, and iron, as well as vitamin A. The recommended supplement dose is 900 mg a day.

Dandelion has a number of laboratory studies to suggest it protects hepatocytes, however good clinical data from humans is lacking.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.