with Milk Thistle|
Silybin dihemisuccinate, a water soluble form of the flavonoid silymarin
(derived from milk thistle), protected rat livers from peroxidation and
glutathione depletion caused by acetaminophen when it was injected intravenously
(Campos et al. 1989). Liver protection was further evidenced by limited
increases of aminotransaminases following toxic acetaminophen doses.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the use of silymarin
with hepatotoxic psychotropic drugs (butyrophenones and phenothiazines) was
evaluated (Palasciano et al. 1994). Sixty patients were enrolled in this study
and were randomized into four groups of 15 to receive treatment for 90 days with
either silymarin (800 mg/day) or placebo along with psychotropic drugs.
Treatment with silymarin reduced serum levels of malondialdehyde, aspartate
aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase, indicators of lipoperoxidation
and hepatotoxicity. Submaximal doses of silymarin reduced the hepatotoxicity
associated with treatment with butyrophenones or
Silibinin (200 mg/kg IV), the main component of milk thistle extract,
administered to rats one hour prior to treatment with a single injection of
cisplatin (5 mg/kg) demonstrated nephroprotectant activity (Gaedeke et al.
1996). The effects of cisplatin on proteinuria and creatinine clearance were
prevented completely by prior administration of silibinin. Proximal tubular
functional impairment also was ameliorated. Kidney function was not affected by
silbinin alone. However, concurrent administration of silibinin with cisplatin
and ifosfamide significantly inhibited the anticancer effect of cisplatin and
ifosfamide on human testicular cancer in vitro (Bokemeyer et al.
A rat study investigated whether silibinin treatment attenuated cyclosporin A
toxicity on endocrine and exocrine pancreas (von Schonfeld et al. 1997). Rats
were treated for 8 days with cyclosporin A, silibinin, or both. On day 9,
endocrine and exocrine pancreatic functions were tested in vitro; blood glucose
levels in vivo were higher in rats treated with cyclosporin A, while glucose
levels in those treated with silibinin did not change. Insulin secretion in
vitro was inhibited after treatment with silibinin, but amylase secretion was
not affected. After treatment with cyclosporin A, both insulin and amylase
secretion were reduced. Silibinin and cyclosporin A had additive inhibitory
effects on insulin secretion, but silibinin attenuated cyclosporin A-induced
inhibition of amylase secretion. Despite cyclosporin A treatment, amylase
secretion was restored to normal with the highest dose of silibinin.
Bokemeyer C, Fels LM, DunnT, et al. Silibinin protects against
cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity without compromising cisplatin on isosfamide
anti-tumor activity. Br J Cancer. 1996;74:2036-2041.
Campos R, Garrido A, Guerra R, et al. Silybin dihemisuccinate protects
against glutathione depletion and lipid peroxidation induced by acetaminophen on
rat liver. Planta Med. 1989;55:417-419.
Gaedeke J, Fels LM, Bokemeyer C, et al. Cisplatin nephrotoxicity and
protection by silibinin. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1996;11:55-62.
Palasciano G, Portincasa P, Palmieri V, Ciani D, Vendemiale G, Altomare E.
The effect of silymarin on plasma levels of malon-dialdehyde in patients
receiving long-term treatment with psychotropic drugs. Curr Therapeut
von Schonfeld J, Weisbrod B, Muller MK. Silibinin, a plant extract with
antioxidant and membrane stabilizing properties, protects exocrine pancreas from
cyclosporin A toxicity. Cell Mol Life Sci.
Copyright © 2000 Integrative Medicine
CommunicationsThis publication contains
information relating to general principles
of medical care that should not in any event be construed as specific
instructions for individual patients. The publisher does not accept any
responsibility for the accuracy of the information or the consequences arising
from the application, use, or misuse of any of the information contained herein,
including any injury and/or damage to any person or property as a matter of
product liability, negligence, or otherwise. No warranty, expressed or implied,
is made in regard to the contents of this material. No claims or endorsements
are made for any drugs or compounds currently marketed or in investigative use.
The reader is advised to check product information (including package inserts)
for changes and new information regarding dosage, precautions, warnings,
interactions, and contraindications before administering any drug, herb, or
supplement discussed herein.