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.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

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.