Use of dietary supplements in pediatric liver disease and transplantation

Yelena Korotkaya, Kim Conner, Jen Lau, Gerard Mullin, Sanjiv Harpavat, Tamir Miloh, Douglas Mogul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Dietary supplements are frequently used by healthy individuals and those with chronic medical conditions but may cause damage to the liver. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and attitudes of dietary supplement use, and the frequency of disclosure to healthcare providers among parents/caregivers for children with chronic liver disease. Methods: We developed an anonymous survey for parents/caregivers of children (<18 years old) with chronic liver disease or liver transplant recipients and distributed the survey through social media groups organized around pediatric liver diseases. Results: The survey was completed by 101 parents/caregivers (48 without transplant and 53 posttransplant). Among respondents, 87% agreed they would use dietary supplements to help their child, but parents/caregivers of transplant recipients were less likely to consider use (77% vs 98%; P0.01). In the past 12 months, 83% reported dietary supplement use including 47% who used nonvitamin/mineral supplements. In two-thirds of parents/caregivers, use was initiated by their personal belief. Although 77% of respondents disclosed their use to their liver team, disclosure varied depending on the supplement with no individual that used cannabinoid products disclosing the use. Conclusions: Dietary supplements are frequently used by children with liver disease and may exceed use in other pediatric conditions. Though most parents report use to their liver team, disclosure may vary depending on the specific supplement. Providers should take extra measures to review use of supplements with their patients and work to develop trust with their families to obtain accurate disclosure of use

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E10-E14
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Cannabinoid
  • Dietary supplement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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