At the moment, an effective vaccine for Hepatitis C is still not available. So, what can be done if you are infected?
The first study of a treatment for hepatitis C was published in 1986, when the infectious agent was still known only as “non-A non-B hepatitis.” It was only a small pilot study (10 patients). Treatment with the antiviral drug interferon normalized liver function tests, but when treatment was discontinued, patients relapsed. Eventually, an interferon/ribavirin combination became the standard treatment: they were given for 24 or 48 weeks. Cure rates varied from 45% to 80% depending on the genotype of the Hepatitis C Virus.
Interferon is contraindicated in patients with certain medical conditions and serious side effects are common. A systematic review in 2013 showed that a sustained virologic response reduced the risk of liver cancer by 75%. Despite the availability of treatment, the mortality rate from hepatitis C continued to increase.
- Milk thistle (Silymarin did not significantly reduce serum ALT levels more than placebo);
- Licorice root (There is currently not enough evidence to determine if it is helpful);
- Ginseng (Only studied in vitro)
- Thymus extract, zinc (The evidence for these possible benefits is limited)
- SAMe or the enzyme S-Adenosyl methionine (The evidence is not sufficient to draw clear conclusions about benefit or safety)
- Colloidal silver (Sigh)
- Probiotics (Research hasn’t produced any clear evidence that probiotics are helpful in people with hepatitis C)
- Shisandra, TJ-108 (limited research on these products has not produced convincing evidence that they are helpful for hepatitis C)
- Massage, chiropractic care and relaxation techniques (Not studied as a form of treatment).
- Acupuncture is a type of quackery that is associated with an increased risk of acquiring Hepatitis C.
So, there is evidence that most of these don’t work, but some of them have not been studied at all.
 Hoofnagle et al: Treatment of chronic non-A,non-B hepatitis with recombinant human alpha interferon. A preliminary report in New England Journal of Medicine - 1986
 Croagh et al: Advances in the management of hepatitis C in Internal Medicine Journal - 2013
 NIH: Hepatitis C: A Focus on Dietary Supplements - 2008
 Ho et al: Prospective study of risk factors for hepatitis C virus acquisition by Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian American patients in Journal of Viral Hepatitis - 2012