Silymarin: The active ingredient of the milk thistle. A natural remedy for liver problems, with further claimed benefits for managing diabetes.

Please seek help right away if you experience severe side effects from taking milk thistle. On extremely rare occasions, milk thistle has caused severe allergic reactions as well as anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Although rare, milk thistle may trigger a number of common and mild side effects. Milk thistle is generally thought to be safe, but you still may experience side effects when taking it. Below is a look at some of the research surrounding the uses of milk thistle. But the herb is also believed to be beneficial for other health issues. Potent inhibitory effect of silibinin from milk thistle on skin inflammation stimuli by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate .

Milk thistle, sometimes known as holy thistle or mary thistle, contains a combination of silibinin, silicristin, and silidianin. This compound is one of a family of chemicals known as flavonoids, which are known to have several beneficial properties for the body. There are no studies showing whether or not it is safe to give milk thistle to a child. Liver problems can be serious and should be diagnosed by a physician.

Silymarin also offsets the kidney toxicity of cisplatin in animals. Silymarin has not yet been studied in humans treated with cisplatin. Research with a limited number of chemotherapy drugs suggest that silymarin does not interfere with their anticancer effect. If patients choose to use milk thistle supplements, it’s important that they pair them with an overall nutritious diet, healthful lifestyle, and adequate medical care. Milk thistle supplements shouldn’t be used as a substitute for any of the latter. This article discusses what RDs need to know about milk thistle, from its potential health benefits to instructions for use and possible adverse effects.

However, in chronic liver injury prolonged fibrosis leads to a progressive tissue scaring process ending up in remodeling of the liver tissue structure. Ultimately, hepatic fibrosis can lead to liver cirrhosis and end stage liver disease. A recent assessment of liver cirrhosis mortality led to a global estimate of just over one million deaths in 2010 which was approximately 2 % of all deaths . Patients suffering from NAFLD/NASH are hard to find because of the symptoms like diabetes, insulin resistance and /or obesity do not directly link to NAFLD/NASH.

Clinical Data

Long-term outcome of hepatitis B e antigen-positive patients with compensated cirrhosis treated with interferon alfa. This does not apply if you have a known allergic reaction to other plants that are related to the milk thistle plant.

By altering your diet and exercise habits, you can help eliminate some of the risk factors that worsen diabetes and better control your blood sugar. For some supplements, such as ginseng, the effects may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer or even from batch to batch, as the growing conditions of the plant play a role in its chemical makeup. This makes it important, as it always is, to continually monitor your blood sugar levels to ensure they’re staying in the same range from batch to batch.

Science-based Benefits Of Milk Thistle

For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. Milk thistle is commonly found growing wild in a variety of settings, including roadsides. Clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability of BIO-C as a galactagogueActa Biomed. The flavanolignan silybin and its hemisynthetic derivatives, a novel series of potential modulators of P-glycoproteinBioorg Med Chem Lett. Effects of the flavonoids biochanin A, morin, phloretin, and silymarin on P-glycoprotein-mediated transportJ Pharmacol Exp Ther. Inhibition studies of bovine xanthine oxidase by luteolin, silibinin, quercetin, and curcuminJ Nat Prod.

These conditions generate large direct costs, loss of productivity and income and poor health-related quality of life . Most clinical trials of milk thistle have been conducted in patients with either hepatitis or cirrhosis.

  • Nevertheless, further studies addressing the optimization of dosing schedules, pharmaceutical drug formulations, and patient selection are needed.
  • Milk thistle can also be taken with cholesterol-lowering medications, like statins.
  • Evaluation of the efficacy and tolerance of silybin in the treatment of organic and functional diseases of the liver parenchyma.

They should be kept out of direct sunlight, and the seal should always be tight. Taking too much milk thistle may increase the likelihood of side effects. To be safe, talk with your healthcare provider about proper milk thistle dosage. These reactions may occur if you have an allergy to milk thistle. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can lead to shock, coma, cardiac or respiratory failure, or even death. Typically, side effects will subside once you stop using milk thistle. Consult with your healthcare provider if you experience these and other side effects to find out the best way to proceed.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research.

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