Silymarin or Milk Thistle
is a plant whose fruit and seeds have been used for more than 2,000 years. The active substance
in milk thistle, silymarin, is a mixture of flavonolignans, primarily consisting of four isomers: silybin, isosilybin, silychristin
(also known as silichristin), and silydianin (also known as silidianin). In the biological literature, silybin is referred
to as silibinin.
Laboratory studies demonstrate that silymarin
functions as a potent antioxidant, stabilizes cellular membranes, stimulates detoxification pathways, stimulates regeneration
of liver tissue, inhibits the growth of certain cancer cell lines, exerts direct cytotoxic activity toward certain cancer
cell lines, and may increase the efficacy of certain chemotherapy agents.
Human clinical trials have investigated milk thistle or silymarin primarily in individuals with hepatitis or cirrhosis.
No clinical trials in individuals with cancer have been published.
adverse side effects have been reported for milk thistle, but little information about interactions with anticancer medications
or other drugs is available.
According to a large study:
Although silymarin had little direct effect on the Hepatitis C virus in a large
silymarin users showed significantly less
*muscle and joint pain
*and improvements in general health over non-users
find silymarin (milk thistle) at a discount, go to http://www.iherb.com/
and use BNN951 at checkout.
National Cancer Institute.
Seeff LB, MD, et al., Herbal product use by persons enrolled in
the hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) Trial, Hepatology, January 2008.