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Home > Anti-aging Research > Silymarin

Silymarin (Silybum marianum)/Milk Thistle

Specific Recommendations:

News & Research:

  • Plant compounds give '1-2' punch to colon cancer - Science Daily, 7/22/16 - "The combination of two plant compounds that have medicinal properties -- curcumin and silymarin -- holds promise in treating colon cancer ... The combination of phytochemicals inhibited colon cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. In addition, when the colon cancer cells were pre-exposed to curcumin and then treated with silymarin, the cells underwent a high amount of cell death" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com and silymarin at Amazon.com.
  • Oral milk thistle extract stops colorectal cancer stem cells from growing tumors - Science Daily, 4/20/15 - "It's very simple: tumors from mice that were initially fed silibinin had fewer cancer stem cells, were smaller, had lower metabolisms and showed decreased growth of new blood vessels. Importantly, when these cancer stem cells from tumors in mice fed silibinin were re-injected into new mice, we found these stem cells had lost their potential to repopulate even in the absence of silibinin exposure"
  • Berberis aristata combined with Silybum marianum on lipid profile in patients not tolerating statins at high doses - Atherosclerosis. 2014 Dec 24 - "To evaluate the effects of Berberis aristata combined with Silybum marianum in dyslipidemic patients intolerant to statins at high doses ... B. aristata/S. marianum reduced fasting plasma glucose (-9 mg/dl), insulin (-0.7 μU/ml), and HOMA-index (-0.35) levels compared to baseline and also to placebo. Lipid profile did not significantly change after 6 months since the reduction of statin dosage and the introduction of B. aristata/S. marianum, while it worsened in the placebo group both compared to placebo and with active treatment (+23.4 mg/dl for total cholesterol, +19.6 mg/dl for LDL-cholesterol, +23.1 mg/dl for triglycerides with placebo compared to B. aristata/S. marianum). We did not record any variations of safety parameters in nether of groups" - See silymarin at Amazon.com and berberine at Amazon.com.
  • Silibinin, found in milk thistle, protects against UV-induced skin cancer - Science Daily, 1/30/13 - "A pair of University of Colorado Cancer Center studies published this month show that the milk thistle extract, silibinin, kills skin cells mutated by UVA radiation and protects against damage by UVB radiation -- thus protecting against UV-induced skin cancer and photo-aging ... When you have a cell affected by UV radiation, you either want to repair it or kill it so that it cannot go on to cause cancer. We show that silibinin does both"
  • Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in mice, study shows - Science Daily, 11/15/11 - "Compared to these multi-million dollar drugs, naturally-occurring silibinin blocked not only the expression of COX2 and iNOS, but also the migration of existing lung cancer cells"
  • Milk thistle herb protects cancer patients from chemotherapy-associated liver toxicity - Science Daily, 12/27/09 - "Fifty children with ALL were enrolled in the study and were randomized to receive milk thistle or placebo for 28 days. At the start of the study, all of the children had evidence of liver inflammation as measured by elevations in blood levels of the liver enzymes, aspartate amino transferase (AST) and amino alanine transferase (ALT). When the investigators performed liver function tests on the children at day 56 (28 days after receiving the herb or placebo), children receiving milk thistle had improvements in their liver enzymes compared with children receiving a placebo. Specifically, the group that took milk thistle had significantly lower levels of AST and a trend towards significantly lower levels of ALT. Taking milk thistle also seemed to help keep fewer patients from having to lower the dose of their medications: chemotherapy doses were reduced in 61 percent of the group receiving milk thistle, compared with 72 percent of the placebo group. In addition, milk thistle appeared to be safe for consumption"
  • Herb May Treat Chemotherapy Liver Damage - WebMD, 12/14/09 - "The youths who took milk thistle had significantly lower levels of AST and a trend toward significant lower levels of ALT, the researchers say ... Milk thistle also seemed to help keep fewer patients from having to lower the dose of their chemotherapy drugs ... Chemotherapy doses were reduced in 61% of those on milk thistle, compared to 72% in the placebo group. Milk thistle appeared to be safe for consumption, the researchers write"
  • Scientific Evidence Of The Significant Anti-cancer Effect Of Milk Thistle - Science Daily, 11/14/07 - "Their research results indicate that silibinin can be used to prevent the development of liver cancer, one of the most common cancers worldwide"
  • Milk Thistle Supplements review - ConsumerLab.com, 6/13/07 - "our tests showed one supplement to have only 20% of the expected amount of silymarin compounds — the key active components of milk thistle. Four other products provided no more than two-thirds of their expected amounts. Another fell short by 16%. And one supplement failed to identify the part of milk thistle used — a FDA labeling requirement"
  • Milk Thistle May Help Treat Diabetes - WebMD, 10/31/06 - "At the study's start, the patients had similar blood sugar levels and blood sugar control ... But after taking the tablets for four months, the milk thistle group showed better blood sugar control and cholesterol and triglyceride levels"
  • Milk thistle extract could help diabetes control - Nutra USA, 10/30/06 - "fasting glucose levels of the supplementation group decreased from 156 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL) of blood to 133 mg/dL, while the placebo group's fasting glucose levels increased from 167 to 188 mg/dL" - See silymarin at Amazon.com.
  • Milk Thistle May Slow Lung Cancer  - WebMD, 6/20/06 - "They found smaller lung tumors in the mice with silibinin in their diets, compared with those consuming no silibinin. They also had fewer large lung tumors"
  • A New Weapon to Fight Prostate Cancer - Life Extension Magazine, 11/05 - "Scientists have shown that milk thistle extracts possess anti-cancer actions on human prostate carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Many of the mechanisms by which silymarin compounds interfere with prostate cancer progression have been identified. The scientists who conducted the most recent study stated that, in addition to isosilybin B, there might be other silymarin compounds that are effective as well"
  • Milk thistle "does not" lower mortality - Nutra USA, 5/3/05
  • Milk Thistle Supplements review - ConsumerLab.com, 10/28/04
  • Silibinin: The Herbal Extract that Protects the Liver - Life Extension Magazine, 12/03 - "The extract from the seeds of milk thistle contains silibinin, a substance with powerful liver-protection effects. In addition, silibinin can help reduce inflammation, diminish oxidation and free radical damage and enhance health in other ways"
  • Silybin-Beta-Cyclodextrin Reduces Glucose, Triglyceride Levels In Diabetes With Liver Disease - Doctor's Guide, 11/12/02 - "Fasting blood glucose levels decreased by 14.7 percent from baseline in patients receiving silybin-beta-cyclodextrin ... Plasma triglycerides concentrations dropped from a mean 186 to 111 mg/dl at six months in those that received silybin-beta-cyclodextrin" - See silymarin at Amazon.com.
  • Liver And Kidney Protection - Courtesy of Silibinin - Life Extension Magazine, 6/00 - "We live in an age of toxic overload. Silibinin, the chief active ingredient in milk thistle extract, is one of our best defenses against this constant chemical assault. Silibinin is highly effective at protecting the liver, the pancreas and the kidneys from toxic damage, an ever-increasing danger due to our exposure to harmful chemicals. In addition, silibinin has been shown to have various other health benefits, including cancer prevention. The right dosage is extremely important for effectiveness. People who complain that herb products do not deliver as promised typically use products that contain only ineffective, miniscule doses of the main active ingredient. Fortunately, more and more herbal extracts, including silibinin, are now available in guaranteed potency form, and in sufficient dosage to produce results."
  • Can Silibinin Arrest Cancer Cells Growth? - Life Extension Magazine, 6/00 - "It has been established that silibinin is an effective scavenger of various free radicals, including hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals, and the hypochlorite ion that originates in neutrophils (Mira 1994). While it constitutes an important antibacterial defense, the hypochlorite radical is also extremely damaging to normal cells, and must be quickly "disarmed." Unchecked, the hypochlorite ion can even chlorinate DNA bases. In the presence of iron, it creates the hydroxyl radical, which can also directly attack DNA ... Silibinin has been found to protect red blood vessels and stabilize their membranes through inhibition of lipid peroxidation. In addition, silibinin increases the activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase in human red blood cells (Altorjay 1992). Another study found that silymarin normalized low SOD activity and altered immunoreactivity in the lymphocytes (a common type of white blood cell) of patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis"
  • Milk Thistle - Compiled by Chad Bradshaw, Pharm.D
  • The Prediabetic Epidemic - Nutrition Science News, 3/01 - "Supplements to Regulate Glucose and Insulin ... Alpha-Lipoic Acid ... Vitamin E ... Vitamin C ... Chromium ... Silymarin is an antioxidant extract of the herb milk thistle (Silybum marianum). It has been shown to reduce all of the major indicators of diabetes, including blood sugar, insulin, glycosuria, and glycosylated hemoglobin. Researchers achieved these results with 800 mg daily of a standardized silymarin extract given for one year. The benefits appeared consistently after about 60 days, and all diabetic signs improved further over the course of a year. However, lower doses are probably sufficient in combination with other supplements ... Supplement tips: With other supplements, 200­400 mg/day of a standardized extract of silymarin should help maintain normal glucose levels"
  • Artichoke Family Shows Promise in Preventing Skin Cancer - Doctor's Guide, 4/27/97 - "Only 25% of the silymarin-treated mice developed tumors compared to 100% of the control group mice"

Abstracts:

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