Review of clinical trials evaluating safety and efficacy of milk thistle (Silybum marianum [L.] Gaertn.).

Research and Development at Flora Inc, Bethesda, MD 20817, USA.
Integrative Cancer Therapies (Impact Factor: 2.01). 07/2007; 6(2):146-57. DOI: 10.1177/1534735407301942
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Milk thistle extracts have been used as traditional herbal remedies for almost 2000 years. The extracts are still widely used to protect the liver against toxins and to control chronic liver diseases. Recent experimental and clinical studies suggest that milk thistle extracts also have anticancer, antidiabetic, and cardioprotective effects. This article reviews clinical trials of milk thistle conducted in the past 5 years including pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies, herb-drug interactions, and other safety issues. Several trials have studied the effects of milk thistle for patients with liver diseases, cancer, hepatitis C, HIV, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. Promising results have been reported in the protective effect of milk thistle in certain types of cancer, and ongoing trials will provide more evidence about this effect. In addition, new established doses and improvement on the quality and standardization of this herb will provide the much-awaited evidence about the efficacy of milk thistle in the treatment of liver diseases. Milk thistle extracts are known to be safe and well tolerated, and toxic or adverse effects observed in the reviewed clinical trials seem to be minimal. The future of milk thistle research is promising, and high-quality randomized clinical trials on milk thistle versus placebo may be needed to further demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this herb.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nowadays, growing medicinal plants in sustainable agricultural systems in which sustainable plant nutrition strategies play an important role are more focused. Seeds of milk thistle plants (Silybum marianum [L.] Gaertn.) are the main source of silymarin which is known as the biological active component helpful in treating liver and biliary diseases and also preventing liver cancer. Phenological stages, especially the reproduction time and maturity of milk thistle, might be affected by management strategies. In order to investigate the potential effects of different nourishment systems on phenological stages of milk thistle, a field experiment was conducted during 2010–2011, at Research Station, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran. Twelve nutrition systems comprising single and integrated nutrition systems of vermicompost, poultry manure, chemical fertilizer, mycorrhiza (Glomus mosseae), and bio-sulfur (Thiobacillus sp.) were compared in a completely randomized block design with three replications. According to the results, growth development stages of milk thistle in Mashhad climate were found to have four discrete stages; vegetative, elongating, flowering, and seed maturation stage. Analysis of variance of heat units, expressed in growing degree-days (GDDs), showed that elongating and flowering stages were significantly affected by different nutrition systems (P < 0.05). Milk thistle plants treated with mycorrhiza started the elongating stage and flowering stage with less GDDs (845 and 1001 ◦C, respectively) compared with other treatments. The highest amount of GDDs for starting the elongating stage was recorded for chemical fertilizer treatment and plants under integrated use of mycorrhiza and vermicompost required more GDDs to start flowering stage.
    Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. 01/2014; 1:148-151.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Beta thalassemia is an inherited hemoglobin disorder resulting in chronic hemolytic anemia requiring life-long blood transfusion that cause iron overload. Silymarin plays a role as an iron chelator in iron overloaded patients. The aim of this work was to compare the iron chelating efficacy of combination therapy of oral Deferiprone and silymarin with oral Deferiprone and placebo. Patients and methods: This study was conducted on 40 children with beta thalassemia major under follow up at Hematology Unit, Pediatric Department, Tanta University Hospital in the period between October 2012 and October 2013 with their serum ferritin levels more than 1000 ng/ml and they was divided in two groups. Group I: Received oral Deferiprone and silymarin for 6 months. Group II: Received oral Deferiprone and placebo for 6 months. Results: In the current study, there were no significant differences in the initial serum ferritin, serum iron and TIBC levels between group I and group II but after regular chelation therapy, serum ferritin and serum iron were significantly lower and TIBC was significantly higher in group I than group II. No statistically significant difference in serum creatinine, blood urea, ALT, AST and serum bilirubin levels between Group I and Group II before and after chelation therapy. Conclusion: From this study we concluded that, Deferiprone in combination with silymarin are better iron chelators in iron-loaded thalassemic patients than Deferiprone and placebo.
    journal leukemia. 01/2014; 2(1).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study was performed to evaluate the effect of different planting dates, planting pattern and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on yield, growth and also disease development in cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) when intercropped with fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.). For this purpose, a field experiment was conducted in a split-plot factorial arrangement based on randomized complete block design with three replications in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran in 2012 and repeated in 2013. The experimental treatments were planting dates (5 November, 5 December and 5 March) assigned to main plots, planting patterns (sole cropping and intercropping of cumin and fenugreek) and PGPR (control, Pseudomonas putida and Azotobacter chroococcum) that were randomized in subplot. Results showed that fall planting dates and intercropping system had positive effects on cumin disease control, whereas application of PGPR had no significant effect in both years. Fall planting dates produced more seed yield in both crops than spring planting. The benefit of Pseudomonas was demonstrated on seed yield of cumin and fenugreek. The values of land equivalent ratio (LER) for all treatments of planting dates and PGPR were more than one. This issue indicated that the intercropping system had positive effect on diseases control because of the physical barrier established by the fenugreek and subsequently on seed yield for 2012 and 2013 growing seasons. In essence, modifying planting date and using intercropping systems contribute to the reduction of disease infestation of cumin without using chemicals.
    Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. 11/2014;