Certain natural methods may help reduce the hepatitis B viral load. Making lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a balanced diet, are just a few.
Although there is currently no cure for chronic hepatitis B, it is possible to manage the condition. Some people may be able to achieve this through natural methods that help support the liver and could help reduce the hepatitis B viral load.
Certain foods and supplements, such as those containing alkaloids and anthraquinones, could have antiviral properties. However, more research is necessary to understand exactly how effective these biological products are.
As such, it is important to note that any herbal remedies and supplements that claim to treat hepatitis B do not undergo regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consequently, they do not undergo rigorous testing for purity and safety.
Therefore, a person should discuss treatment options with a doctor and whether natural options are suitable for them.
Measuring the hepatitis B viral load, also known as hepatitis B virus DNA quantification, involves a blood test that serves as an indicator of how severe a hepatitis B infection is.
The term “viral load” refers to the number of viruses in a person’s body. When a person has a high viral load, they have more of the virus in their body. Typically, a healthcare professional may use 20,000 international units per milliliter (IU/mL) as a guide for hepatitis B. A viral load below this level suggests a lower likelihood of liver damage.
Some natural treatments may help with hepatitis B. However, the
A person living with hepatitis B may find natural products in foods or supplements useful,
- Alkaloids: These are found in honey, cocoa, tea, and coffee.
- Anthraquinones: Anthraquinones are found in rhubarb and aloe.
- Aromatics: Onions, celery, and carrots are examples of aromatics.
- Artemisinin: This is found in the bitter herb, wormwood.
- Blueberry proanthocyanidins: These are found in blueberry juice.
Before taking any supplement or increasing the intake of foods containing these biological products, a person should consult with a healthcare professional. They will be able to advise if it is safe to do so. These ingredients are not subject to robust clinical trials and as such, their effectiveness and safety in treating hepatitis B is not known.
When a person has hepatitis B, doctors may need to monitor the impact of their lifestyle changes. Doctors will likely measure their liver enzymes, viral load, and platelet count during regular appointments.
Some herbal remedies proponents suggest can support liver health
Milk thistle is a herb native to the Mediterranean region that may be beneficial for liver health. Several promising studies suggest milk thistle could help reduce damage from liver disease. However, controlled trials found there was
However, more studies are necessary to further investigate the effect of maoto in humans on hepatitis B infections. Presently, there is little to no research that suggests it is an effective treatment.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and helps keep liver cells healthy. In fact, several clinical trials
However, it is not clear if using vitamin E as long-term management for NAFLD is a suitable treatment option, and more research is necessary.
There are several lifestyle changes a person can make to help manage hepatitis B, including:
- receiving hepatitis vaccinations
- eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats
- avoiding alcohol
- ensuring over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, such as acetaminophen, are safe, as these can strain the liver
- checking with a pharmacist or doctor that any supplements are safe to take
- keeping body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to
- reducing stress levels
- avoiding undercooked or raw shellfish, as bacterial contamination can damage the liver
Doctors tend to only treat hepatitis B when it is a chronic disease and begins to damage a person’s liver. When this happens, a doctor may prescribe antiviral medications that aim to reduce viral load.
These medications are usually in tablet form and
- entecavir (Baraclude)
- tenofovir alafenamide (Vemlidy)
- tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread)
Another medication a person could receive is peginterferon alfa-2a (Pegasys). However, this is not an oral medication. Instead, a person receives this drug through an injection.
Read on to learn more about hepatitis B treatments.
In addition to an antiviral treatment regimen, people can try managing their hepatitis B viral load with natural options. However, a person should discuss if it is suitable to use these natural treatments with a doctor. Importantly, a person should not attempt to replace their hepatitis B medications with herbal supplements.
Some of the most effective natural options for managing hepatitis B include maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This can include not consuming alcohol, eating whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals, and maintaining a moderate weight.