Article

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: 2.36). 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.

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    • "Its antiviral effectiveness against Hepatitis B and especially Hepatitis C viruses is well defined. However, there are limited data about its antibacterial activity (Gordon et al. 2006; Tamayo and Diamond 2007; Wagoner et al. 2010; Polyak et al. 2013; Wei et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Limited treatment options in infectious diseases caused by resistant microorganisms created the need to search new approaches. Several herbal extracts are studied for their enormous therapeutic potential. Silymarin extract, from Silybum marianum (milk thistle), is an old and a new remedy for this goal. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the antibacterial and antiadherent effects of silymarin besides biofilm viability activity on standard bacterial strains. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC), antiadherent/antibiofilm activity, and effects on biofilm viability of silymarin were evaluated against standard bacterial strains. MIC values were observed between 60 and >241 μg/mL (0.25->1 mmol/L). Gram-positive bacteria were inhibited at concentrations between 60 and 120 μg/mL. Gram-negative bacteria were not inhibited by the silymarin concentrations included in this study. MBC values for Gram-positive bacteria were greater than 241 μg/mL. Adherence/biofilm formations were decreased to 15 μg/mL silymarin concentration when compared with silymarin-untreated group. Silymarin reduced the biofilm viabilities to 13 and 46 % at 1 and 0.5 mmol/L concentrations, respectively. We demonstrated that silymarin shows antibacterial and antiadherent/antibiofilm activity against certain standard bacterial strains which may be beneficial when used as a dietary supplement or a drug.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Folia Microbiologica
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    • "The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes, but the highest content of silymarin is accumulated in the seeds. The main reason for the wide cultivation of this plant is due to its importance in treating liver and biliary diseases and also preventing liver cancer (Tamayo and Diamond, 2007). Increased in crop production largely depends on the type of fertilizers used to supplement essential nutrients for plants. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014
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    • "The whole plant is used for medicinal purposes, but the highest content of silymarin is accumulated in the seeds. The main reason for the wide cultivation of this plant is due to its importance in treating liver and biliary diseases and also preventing liver cancer (Tamayo and Diamond, 2007). Increased in crop production largely depends on the type of fertilizers used to supplement essential nutrients for plants. "
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014
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