Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

No alternative medicine treatments are proven to cure nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. But researchers are studying whether some natural compounds could be helpful, such as:

  • Vitamin E. In theory, vitamin E and other vitamins called antioxidants could help protect the liver by reducing or neutralizing the damage caused by inflammation. But more research is needed.

    Some evidence suggests vitamin E supplements may be helpful for people with liver damage caused by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. But vitamin E has side effects, such as an increased risk of death and, in men, an increased risk of prostate cancer.

    Discuss the benefits and risks of vitamin E with your doctor.

  • Coffee. In one study, people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who reported drinking coffee had less liver damage than those who drank little or no coffee. It's not clear how coffee may influence liver damage or how much coffee you'd need to drink in order to benefit.

    If you already drink coffee, these results may make you feel better about your morning cup of coffee. But if you don't already drink coffee, this probably isn't a good reason to start. Discuss the potential benefits of coffee with your doctor.

Apr. 10, 2014

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