Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Hepatology: Review of the Evidence of Efficacy

Verma, Sumita and Thuluvath, Paul J. (2007) Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Hepatology: Review of the Evidence of Efficacy. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 5 (4). pp. 408-416. ISSN 1542-3565

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Abstract

There is an increase in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), especially herbal therapy, among patients with liver disease. The most commonly used herbal agent is silymarin. In animal models, many of the commonly used agents have shown anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic effects. Although many human studies have shown improvements in subjective symptoms (well being) and liver biochemistry, there are no convincing data to suggest a definite histologic and/or virologic improvement with most of these agents. Poorly designed studies, heterogeneous patient populations, lack of standardized preparations, and poorly defined nonobjective end points may partly explain the conflicting reports in the literature. Hepatotoxicity and drug interactions are common with many herbal medications, and therefore physicians need to be cognizant of known or occult use of CAM by their patients. Only well-designed, randomized, controlled trials will be able to ascertain whether CAM has any role in the management of patients with acute or chronic liver diseases. Until such time, the use of CAM cannot be recommended as a therapy for patients with liver disease.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Depositing User: Grecia GarciaGarcia
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2011 09:00
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7232
Google Scholar:29 Citations
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