Complementary therapies are widely used by patients with hepatitis C.
In this study, doctors from England assessed the efficacy of complementary therapies in treating chronic hepatitis C.
The team conducted systematic searches of 6 databases. The reference lists of all identified papers were checked for further relevant publications and information was requested from experts. No language restrictions were imposed.
The team identified 27 eligible randomized clinical trials were located involving herbal products and supplements. No trials were identified for any other complementary therapy.
In 14 of the trials, patients received interferon-alpha in combination with the complementary therapy.
| Improvements were seen in trials of vitamin E, thymic extract, zinc, traditional Chinese medicine, Glycyrrhiza glabra and oxymatrine.|
|Journal of Hepatology|
The team determined that less than half the trials were of good methodological quality.
They found that significant improvements in virological and/or biochemical response were seen in trials of vitamin E, thymic extract, zinc, traditional Chinese medicine, Glycyrrhiza glabra and oxymatrine.
Drs Joanna Thompson Coon and Edzard Ernst concluded, "We identified several promising complementary therapies, although extrapolation of the results is difficult due to methodological limitations".
"More research is warranted to establish the role of these and other therapies in the treatment of hepatitis C".