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Are there supplements I can take for the liver?

Liver doctors tend not to recommend supplements. Supplements are just drugs that have had no safety testing. All are processed in the liver before they go to the rest of your body. There are some of those things that have been found to be harder on your liver when they were supposed to be treating it. The studies of Milk Thistle, for example, in humans have not shown benefit.

The other thing about supplements is there have been studies where they have gone into the supplement aisle at the grocery store and they randomly take 100 bottles of things and take them back to the lab and analyze them, and 50% either don’t contain the thing that it says on the label, or it contains significant amounts of some ingredient not on the label. The supplement laws are very lax and the quality control is poor. So megadosing vitamins and supplements… liver doctors are very concerned about that because it can actually boomerang and backfire and hurt your liver.

There are times when we give special vitamins, and sometimes high dose vitamins to people with liver conditions. But that’s a very specific condition that you would talk to your doctor about.

This was roughly transcribed from a talk Dr. Jeffery Teckman gave at the 2019 St. Louis Alpha-1 Education Day –