[1]Siddiqui U Prevalence and predictors of herbal medication use in veterans with chronic hepatitis C. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2004
Aug;38(7):605-10. [2] Wallace SN Extraction of flavanolignans from milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaertner). Phytochem Anal. 2005
Jan-Feb;16(1):7-16. [4]Duan L Silymarin extraction from milk thistle using hot water. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2004 Spring;113-116:559-68.[5]
Lee DY, Molecular structure and stereochemistry of silybin A, silybin B, isosilybin A, and isosilybin B, Isolated from Silybum marianum (milk
thistle). J Nat Prod. 2003 Dec;66(12):1632. [6] Kim NC Complete isolation and characterization of silybins and isosilybins from milk thistle
(Silybum marianum). Org Biomol Chem. 2003 May 21;1(10):1684-9.[7] Manna SK Silymarin [MILK THISTLE] suppresses TNF-induced activation
of NF-kappa B, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and apoptosis. J Immunol. 1999 Dec 15;163(12):6800-9. [8] Lee DG et al Gram-positive bacteria specific
properties of silybin derived from Silybum marianum [Milk Thistle]. Arch Pharm Res. 2003 Aug;26(8):597-600.[9] Soliman KF In vitro attenuation
of nitric oxide production in C6 astrocyte cell culture by various dietary compounds. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Sep;218(4):390-7.[10]
Bialecka M. The effect of bioflavonoids and lecithin on the course of experimental atherosclerosis in rabbits Ann Acad Med Stetin.
1997;43:41-56. [11]Zi X, Novel cancer chemopreventive effects of a flavonoid antioxidant silymarin [MILK THISTLE]: inhibition of mRNA
expression of an endogenous tumor promoter TNF alpha. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Oct 9;239(1):334-9.[12]Tyagi A Silibinin causes
cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human bladder transitional cell carcinoma cells by regulating CDKI-CDK-cyclin cascade, and caspase 3 and
PARP cleavages. Carcinogenesis. 2004 Sep;25(9):1711-20. Epub 2004 Apr *milk thistle [13]Tyagi AK Silibinin down-regulates survivin protein
and mRNA expression and causes caspases activation and apoptosis in human bladder transitional-cell papilloma RT4 cells. Biochem Biophys
Res Commun. 2003 Dec 26;312(4):1178-84.[14] Vinh PQ et al Chemopreventive effects of a flavonoid antioxidant silymarin [MILK THISTLE] on
N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine-induced urinary bladder carcinogenesis in male ICR mice. Jpn J Cancer Res. 2002 Jan;93(1):42-9.
[15]Tyagi AK Synergistic anti-cancer effects of silibinin [milk thistle extract] with conventional cytotoxic agents doxorubicin, cisplatin and
carboplatin against human breast carcinoma MCF-7 and MDA-MB468 cells. Oncol Rep. 2004 Feb;11(2):493-9.Zi X. Anticarcinogenic effect of a
flavonoid antioxidant, silymarin [milk thistle], in human breast cancer cells MDA-MB 468: induction of G1 arrest through an increase in Cip1/p21
concomitant with a decrease in kinase activity of cyclin-dependent kinases and associated cyclins. Clin Cancer Res. 1998 Apr;4(4):1055-64.[17]  
Kohno H et al, Silymarin [MILK THISTLE], a naturally occurring polyphenolic antioxidant flavonoid, inhibits azoxymethane-induced colon
carcinogenesis in male F344 rats. Int J Cancer. 2002 Oct 10;101(5):461-8.[18] Yoo HG Involvement of NF-kappaB and caspases in
silibinin-induced apoptosis of endothelial cells. Int J Mol Med. 2004 Jan;13(1):81-6.[19] Qi L, Epidermal growth factor receptor mediates silibinin
[milk thistle]-induced cytotoxicity in a rat glioma cell line. Cancer Biol Ther. 2003 Sep-Oct;2(5):526-31.[20] Chu SC Silibinin inhibits the
invasion of human lung cancer cells via decreased productions of urokinase-plasminogen activator and matrix metalloproteinase-2. Mol
Carcinog. 2004 Jul;40(3):143-9.[21] Ladas EJ Milk thistle: is there a role for its use as an adjunct therapy in patients with cancer? J Altern
Complement Med. 2003 Jun;9(3):411-6.[22] [Davis-Searles PR, Milk thistle and prostate cancer: differential effects of pure flavonolignans from
Silybum marianum [MILK THISTLE] on antiproliferative end points in human prostate carcinoma cells. Cancer Res. 2005 May
15;65(10):4448-57] [23] Singh RP A cancer chemopreventive agent silibinin [MILK THISTLE], targets mitogenic and survival signaling in
prostate cancer. Mutat Res. 2004 Nov 2;555(1-2):21-32.[23] Thelen P Silibinin down-regulates prostate epithelium-derived Ets transcription factor
in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Planta Med. 2004 May;70(5):397-400.[24] Inhibition of telomerase activity and secretion of prostate specific
antigen by silibinin [milk thistle] in prostate cancer cells. J Urol. 2004 May;171(5):1934-8. [25] Prostate cancer prevention by silibinin [milk
thistle]. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2004 Feb;4(1):1-11 [26] A flavonoid antioxidant, silymarin [milk thistle], inhibits activation of erbB1 signaling
and induces cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, G1 arrest, and anticarcinogenic effects in human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells. Cancer Res.
1998 May 1;58(9):1920-9. 27 Silibinin [Milk Thistle] decreases prostate-specific antigen with cell growth inhibition via G1 arrest, leading to
differentiation of prostate carcinoma cells: implications for prostate cancer intervention. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Jun 22;96(13):7490-5.
28 Dhanalakshmi S Silibinin [MILK THISTLE] sensitizes human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells to cisplatin- and carboplatin-induced growth
inhibition and apoptotic death. Int J Cancer. 2003 Sep 20;106(5):699-705. 29 Zi X Silibinin [MILK THISTLE] up-regulates insulin-like growth
factor-binding protein 3 expression and inhibits proliferation of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells Cancer Res. 2000 Oct
15;60(20):5617-20. [30] Singh RP Dietary feeding of [MILK THISTLE] silibinin inhibits advance human prostate carcinoma growth in athymic
mice and increases plasma insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 levels. Cancer Res. 2002 Jun 1;62(11):3063-9. [31]Tyagi A et al, Silibinin
[MILK THISTLE] strongly synergizes human prostate carcinoma DU145 cells to doxorubicin-induced growth Inhibition, G2-M arrest, and
apoptosis. Clin Cancer Res. 2002 Nov;8(11):3512-9. [32] Tyagi A Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of silibinin [MILK THISTLE] in rat
prostate cancer cells. Prostate. 2002 Nov 1;53(3):211-7.[33]Katiyar SK et al, Protective effects of silymarin [milk thistle] against
photocarcinogenesis in a mouse skin model. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1997 Apr 16;89(8):556-66][34] Katiyar SK. Silymarin [milk thistle] and skin cancer
prevention: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects (Review). Int J Oncol. 2005 Jan;26(1):169-76.[35] Silibinin prevents
ultraviolet radiation-caused skin damages in SKH-1 hairless mice via a decrease in thymine dimer positive cells and an up-regulation of
p53-p21/Cip1 in epidermis. Carcinogenesis. 2004 Aug;25(8):1459-65. Epub 2004 Mar 19. [36]A flavonoid antioxidant, silymarin [milk thistle],
affords exceptionally high protection against tumor promotion in the SENCAR mouse skin tumorigenesis model. Cancer Res. 1999 Feb
1;59(3):622-32[36] Yanaida Y et al Dietary silymarin [MILK THISTLE] suppresses 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced tongue carcinogenesis in
male F344 rats. Carcinogenesis. 2002 May;23(5):787-94.[37]Silymarin [Milk thistle]: potent inhibitor of cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase. Methods
Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 1985 Aug;7(8):409-13.][38]Crocenzi FA et al, Silibinin [Milk thistle] prevents cholestasis-associated retrieval of the bile
salt export pump, Bsep, in isolated rat hepatocyte couplets: possible involvement of cAMP. Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 Apr 1;69(7):1113-20.]
[39] von Schonfeld J Silibinin [Milk thistle], a plant extract with antioxidant and membrane stabilizing properties, protects exocrine pancreas
from cyclosporin A toxicity. Cell Mol Life Sci. 1997 Dec;53(11-12):917-20.] [40] Maghrani M Study of the hypoglycaemic activity of Fraxinus
excelsior and Silybum marianum [Milk thistle]  in an animal model of type 1 diabetes mellitus. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Apr;91(2-3):309-16. [41]  
Chlopcikova S Chemoprotective effect of plant phenolics against anthracycline-induced toxicity on rat cardiomyocytes. Part I. Silymarin [Milk
thistle] and its flavonolignans. Phytother Res. 2004 Feb;18(2):107-10. [42] Katiyar SK. Treatment of silymarin [MILK THISTLE], a plant flavonoid,
prevents ultraviolet light-induced immune suppression and oxidative stress in mouse skin. Int J Oncol. 2002 Dec;21(6):1213-22. [43]Wilasrusmee
C et al, Immunostimulatory effect of Silybum Marianum (milk thistle) extract. Med Sci Monit. 2002 Nov;8(11):BR439-43.[44] Ferenci P et al,
Randomized controlled trial of silymarin [Milk thistle]  treatment in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. J Hepatol. 1989 Jul;9(1):105-13. [45] Arteel
G Advances in alcoholic liver disease. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2003 Aug;17(4):625-47.[46] Lieber CS Silymarin [Milk thistle] retards
the progression of alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis in baboons. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2003 Oct;37(4):336-9.[47]. Dehmlow C. Inhibition of Kupffer
cell functions as an explanation for the hepatoprotective properties of silibinin. Hepatology. 1996 Apr; 23 (4): 749-54. [48]. Wu DF The effects of
silymarin [Milk thistle] on hepatic microsomal and mitochondrial membrane fluidity in mice.  Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2003
Sep;28(9):870-2. [49] Tanamly MD et al, Randomised double-blinded trial evaluating silymarin [Milk thistle]  for chronic hepatitis C in an
Egyptian village: study description and 12-month results. Dig Liver Dis. 2004 Nov;36(11):752-9. [50]Tedesco D Silymarin, a possible
hepatoprotector in dairy cows: biochemical and histological observations. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2004 Mar;51(2):85-9.[51]  Wang
MJ Silymarin [MILK THISTLE] protects dopaminergic neurons against lipopolysaccharide-induced neurotoxicity by inhibiting microglia
activation. Eur J Neurosci. 2002 Dec;16(11):2103-12 [52] Kittur S et al, Neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects of milk thistle (Silybum
marianum) on neurons in culture. J Mol Neurosci. 2002 Jun;18(3):265-9.
[53] Hu Z, Herb-drug interactions: a literature review. Drugs. 2005;65(9):1239-82.][54]DiCenzo R Coadministration of milk thistle and indinavir in
healthy subjects. Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Jul;23(7):866-70.[55]  Giese LA. Milk thistle and the treatment of hepatitis. Gastroenterol Nurs. 2001
Mar-Apr;24(2):95-7. [56] Saller R et al, The use of silymarin in the treatment of liver diseases Drugs. 2001;61(14):2035-63.[57] Ferenci P. et al,
Randomized controlled trial of silymarin (milk thistle) treatment in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. J Hepatol. 1989 Jul;9(1):105-13.
[58]Silymarin inhibits T-lymphocyte function at low doses but stimulates inflammatory processes at high doses. Planta Med. 2003
Jan;69(1):44-9.[59] Jacobs BP, Milk thistle for the treatment of liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2002 Oct
15;113(6):506-15.[60] Rambaldi A. et al, Milk thistle for alcoholic and/or hepatitis B or C virus liver diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005
Apr 18;(2):CD003620.][61] Physiological responses of a natural antioxidant flavonoid mixture, silymarin, in BALB/c mice: III. Silymarin inhibits
T-lymphocyte function at low doses but stimulates inflammatory processes at high doses. Planta Med. 2003 Jan;69(1):44-9. [AA1] Wang HJ et al,
An updated review at molecular pharmacological level for the mechanism of anti-tumor, antioxidant and immunoregulatory action of silibinin
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2010 Apr;45(4):413-21. [AA2]Gazák R et al, Silybin and silymarin--new and emerging applications in medicine Curr Med
Chem. 2007;14(3):315-38.

Milk thistle decreased the trough concentrations of indinavir in humans. [53] However, another study showed milk thistle
had no apparent effect on indinavir plasma concentrations. [54]  This conflicting data might be due to different milk
thistle product preparation, extraction method, product composition, experimental design or even the purity of milk

Milk thistle appears to be safe and accepted by patients. Only a few cases of milk thistle side effect have been
reported. Citations about milk thistle side effects and safety issues from various researchers are summarized as follows:

[1] Silymarin (milk thistle) with few side effects that has been safely used for centuries to treat liver ailments. [55]

[2] Silymarin (milk thistle) side effects include
gastrointestinal disturbances and allergic skin rashes.[56]

[3] In a study of 170 patients with cirrhosis, researchers observed no milk thistle side effect.  [57]

[4] Silymarin (milk thistle) exposure did not produce any signs of overt toxicity or any changes in relative organ weights.
Johnson VJ et al, Physiological responses of a natural antioxidant flavonoid mixture, silymarin, in BALB/c mice: III. [58]

[5] Treatment with milk thistle appears to be safe and well tolerated. No reduction in mortality, but improvements in
histology and in biochemical markers of liver function among patients with chronic liver disease were found with milk
thistle supplement. [59]

[6] Milk thistle was not associated with a significantly increased risk of adverse events. [60]

[7] High dose of milk thistle may stimulate inflammatory process (from a mice study). [61]

Note Milk thistle can produce allergic reactions, which tend to be more common among people who are allergic to plants
in the same family (e.g. ragweed, chrysanthemium, marigold, and daisy}.

1. Milk thistle has somewhat benefits on liver conditions. But,  its effect on hepatitis C is inconclusive.
2. Milk thistle extracts are well-accepted, with limited side effects.
3. Milk thistle extracts may have benefits of cancer prevention, based on the vitro and animal studies.
Milk Thistle Benefits, Milk Thistle Side Effects
Revised on September 16, 2013
There are always new information. Please, send me an email ( to correct my mistake(s).
Reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed to be
accurate. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is important to seek
the advice of a physician about any medical condition or symptom or the benefits and side effects of a supplement or
a drug product. Finally, please, do not transfer the article to other website. Thank you. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Milk thistle, a flowering herb, has been used for treating liver conditions for many years, [1] it appears to be safe and
have many other advantages or uses. Milk Thistle extracts may have many benefits, and one of its important benefits is
liver protection. Milk thistle extracts have been described to be able to regenerate the liver cells in liver diseases such as
cirrhosis (hardening of the liver), jaundice and hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cholangitis (inflammation of bile ducts
resulting in decreased bile flow). Milk thistle may be able to cleanse and detoxify  overburdened and stagnant livers,
strengthen and tonify weak livers. Milk thistle extract has been used as a gentle and mild laxative, as it may increase bile
secretion and flow in the intestinal tract. Milk thistle benefits may also include lubrication and stool softening, it may help
to achieve a balance between constipation and diarrhea.  Scientific supports to these claims are limited, but there are
still some. In the following section, we are going to review what Milk Thistle contains, and how these ingredients affect the
beneficial effects of Milk Thistle.
Active Ingredients of Milk Thistle

What are the ingredients contributing to Milk Thistle health benefit effects? Milk thistle extracts are standardized to a
concentration of 70-80% of flavone lignans including isosilybinin, silybinin, silychristin, and silydianin, which are
collectively called silymarin. Silymarin may play a role in displacing toxins binding to the liver and causing the liver cells to
regenerate at a faster rate.Silymarin can be extracted from the seeds (fruit). The seeds are used to prepare capsules
containing powdered herb or seed; extracts; and infusions (strong teas). [NCCAM]

Silybin (pure, chemically defined substance) and silymarin (flavonoid complex from Silybum marianum - milk thistle
seeds) from Milk Thistle have drawn lots of attention. [AA2] As there are lots of evidence that they are anti-inflammatory,
cytoprotective, anticarcinogenic, antioxdative and anti-microbial. These effects are probably related to their inhibitory
effects on the activation of NF-kappa B. [7] NF-κB is a protein complex that controls the transcription of DNA. NF-κB is
involved in cellular responses to stimuli such as stress, cytokines, free radicals, ultraviolet irradiation, oxidized LDL, and
bacterial or viral antigens. In a study, silymarin reduced nitrogen monoxide (NO, a free radical) production at less than
300 ppm. [9] Milk thistle extract, silymarin, protects cardiomyocytes against doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress via cell
membrane stabilization effect, radical scavenging and iron chelating potency. [41] Silibinin, the pure active ingredient of
Milk Thisle, has anti-tumor activities, wherein the mechanism involves the prominent inhibition of the activities of receptor
tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and their downstream signal molecules in a variety of tumor cell lines, such as epidermal growth
factor receptor 1 (EGFR) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling pathways. Meanwhile, silibinin also
selectively scavenges hydroxyl free radical (*OH) and specifically inhibits the action of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-
kappaB). This may explain Milk Thistle's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Silibinin also attenuates the cognitive
deficits induced by amyloid beta protein (Abeta) peptide. [AA1] While, another molecule from Milk Thistle, silybin,
inhibited RNA and protein synthesis on gram-positive bacteria in a study. [8] Because of the special properties of Milk
Thistle's active ingredients, Milk Thistle extracts or preparations may have many health benefits.
Scientific Evidence for Milk Thistle Health Benefits

Many scientific studies have been conducted to understand the potent health benefits of Milk Thistle, what Milk Thistle may benefit people at risk
or even suffered from chronic diseases such as cancers and liver diseases. This session summarizes the key findings of recent studies on the
biological properties of Milk Thistle, and what kinds of benefits Milk Thistle may offer us.

Vascular System
Milk thistle and lecithin have found to have anti-atherosclerotic activity in rabbits. Milk thistle-phospholipid complex showed a strong
anti-atherosclerotic activity. [10] Thus, milk thistle may have benefits on vascular system.

Milk thistle silymarin exerts chemopreventive effects against tumorigenicity by inhibiting endogenous tumor promoter TNF alpha. [11] Milk thistle
silibinin and milk thistle silymarin, have shown the anticancer effects in different cancer cells in multiple studies:
BLADDER Milk thistle silibinin
modulates cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors - cyclin-dependent kinases -cyclin cascade and activates caspase 3 causing growth inhibition and
apoptotic death of human bladder transitional cell carcinoma cells. [12] In another study, milk thistle silibinin decreased survivin levels and
caspases-PARP cleavages, in accord with a strong apoptotic death and growth inhibition of Human bladder transitional-cell papilloma cells. [13]
And, milk thistle silymarin was found to be effective in preventing OH-BBN-induced bladder carcinogenesis in mice. [14]
BREAST An in vitro study
has suggested a possible synergism between milk thistle silibinin and conventional cytotoxic agents for breast cancer treatment. [15] Milk thistle
extract may exert a strong anticarcinogenic effect against breast cancer involving inhibition the threshold kinase activities of cyclin-dependent
kinases and associated cyclins, leading to a G1 arrest in cell cycle progression. [16].
COLON Study showed a chemopreventive ability of milk thistle
silymarin against chemically induced colon tumorigenesis.[17]
ENDOTHELIAL CELLS Milk thistle silibinin may exert, at least partly, its anti-cancer
effect by inhibiting angiogenesis through induction of endothelial apoptosis via modulation of NF-kappaB, Bcl-2 family and caspases. [18] Milk
thistle silibinin toxicity to cancer cells is found to involve the epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathway. [19]
LUNG Milk thistle containing
Silibinin exerted a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on the invasion and motility of human lung cancer cells.[20]
LIVER Milk thistle may be useful in
the prevention or treatment of liver dysfunction in patients undergoing anticancer therapy.[21]
PROSTATE In prostate cancer, milk thistle silibinin
exerts its anti-cancer effect probably via epidermal growth factor receptor, insulin-like growth factor receptor type I and nuclear factor kappa B
signaling [23] Milk thistle extracts possess anticancer activities on human prostate carcinoma. Isosilybin A and B might be the most effective
suppressors of prostate-specific antigen secretion by androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. Researchers suggested that milk thistle extracts enriched
for isosilybin A or B might possess improved potency in prostate cancer prevention and treatment. [22] Finally, milk thistle silibinin was found to
able to down regulate 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, thus, milk thistle may be beneficial to prostate health. [23]
There are eight more studies
showing milk thistle benefits on prostate [24-32].
SKIN In studies of rats, milk thistle extracts provided substantial protection against different
stages of UVB-induced carcinogenesis, possibly via its strong antioxidant properties. [33] In another study, topical treatment of milk thistle silymarin
inhibited 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-initiated and several tumor promoters in mouse models. [34] There are two more studies showing  the
anti-tumor activities of milk thistle extracts on skin cancer: [35]
TONGUE Feeding of milk thistle silymarin (500 p.p.m.) during the promotion phase
of 4-NQO-induced rat tumorigenesis exerts chemopreventive ability against tongue squamous cell carcinoma through modification of phase II
enzymes activity, cell proliferation, and/or PGE(2) content. [36] Thus, milk thistle extracts may have benefits on people at risk of certain cancers.

Milk thistle prevents cholestasis induced by estrogens and taurolithocholate via inhibiting cAMP-phosphodiesterase.  [38] In 1985, Koch HP
reported that milk thistle was a very potent inhibitor of cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase. Milk thistle's constituents, silybin, silydianin and silychristin,
are 12.66 to 52.06 times more active than theophylline. [37]

Milk thistle extracts may be useful in treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, as silibinin inhibits glucose-stimulated insulin release in
vitro, while not affecting blood glucose concentration in vivo. [39]Aqueous extracts of milk thistle exhibit potent hypoglycaemic and
anti-hyperglycaemic activities in normal and streptozotocin diabetic rats without affecting insulin secretion. [40]  In a study, researchers treated  
diabetics with 200 mg of silymarin three times a day. After four months, patients had reductions in blood glucose levels. The results are very
encouraging and the researchers planned to do further large multi-centre studies. [Milk thistle may help diabetics -study, Reuters, October 30,
2006.] Thus, milk thistle may have benefits on animals at risk of diabetes.

A study of mice showed milk thistle silymarin could prevent UVB-induced immuno-suppression and oxidative stress probably by inhibiting the
infiltration of leukocytes, and myeloperoxidase activity. [42]

A study demonstrated that milk thistle was immunostimulatory in vitro. Milk thistle increased lymphocyte proliferation in both mitogen and MLC
assays. These effects of Milk Thistle were associated with an increase in interferon gamma, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 cytokines in the MLC
(table). This immunostimulatory effect increased in response to increasing doses of Milk Thistle.  [43]

Liver diseases
CIRRHOSIS A double blind study of 170 patients with cirrhosis demonstrated that silymarin (milk thistle extract) treatment was effective in patients
with alcoholic cirrhosis. [44]  A study has suggested that milk thistle and
S-adenosylmethionine may be effective in alcoholic cirrhosis. [45]
Milk thistle silymarin retarded the development of alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis in 12 baboons, consistent with several positive clinical
trials. [46]
INJURY The hepatoprotective properties of milk thistle extracts in acute and chronic liver injury is probably related to inhibition of
leukotriene B (4) formation by silibinin [Milk thistle]. [47] The protective effects of milk thistle on liver injury may be related to the recovery of the
membrane fluidities of liver microsome and mitochondria [48]
HEPATITIS C A double-blinded trial of 141 subjects demonstrated that milk thistle
extract, silymarin, could improve symptoms and general well-being of patients suffered from hepatitis C. [49] However, some researchers found
that milk thistle extracts had no benefits on liver health. For instance, milk thistle extract was found to have no hepatoprotective effect on dairy
cows. [50] Thus, milk thistle may benefit people at risk of certain liver issues.

Milk thistle may have protective effects on neural system
In a cell study, milk thistle silymarin significantly inhibited the LPS-induced activation of microglia and the production of inflammatory mediators,
such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha and nitric oxide (NO), and reduced the damage to dopaminergic neurons.[51] In a study, milk thistle extract
protected cultured rat hippocampal neurons against oxidative stress-induced cell death. [52] Thus, milk thistle may have benefits of neuronal