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MeSH Review

Milk Thistle

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Disease relevance of Milk Thistle


High impact information on Milk Thistle


Chemical compound and disease context of Milk Thistle


Biological context of Milk Thistle


Anatomical context of Milk Thistle

  • It is concluded that treatment with milk thistle extracts silymarin and silibinin alone or, more effectively in combination with cysteine donors, provide a benefit for peritoneal macrophages of CAPD-patients due to a normalization and activation of the cellular thiol status followed by a restoration of specific functional capabilities [16].

Associations of Milk Thistle with chemical compounds


Gene context of Milk Thistle

  • Curcumin, ginsenosides, piperine, some catechins from green tea, and silymarin from milk thistle were found to be inhibitors of Pgp, while some catechins from green tea increased Pgp-mediated drug transport by heterotropic allosteric mechanism, and St [21].
  • CONCLUSIONS: Silybin concentrations after intake of milk thistle are too low to significantly affect the function of CYP3A4 and UGT1A1 in vivo, indicating that milk thistle is unlikely to alter the disposition of anticancer drugs metabolized by these enzymes [13].
  • In this study we demonstrate the cancer protective potential of silibinin, a flavolignan derived from the fruits of Silybum marianum, which down-regulates the co-activator of the androgen receptor, the prostate epithelium-derived Ets transcription factor (PDEF) and consequently the secretion of PSA [22].
  • This study's purpose was to assess the effects of milk thistle and black cohosh supplementation on CYP3A activity and compare them to a clinically recognized inducer, rifampin, and inhibitor, clarithromycin [23].
  • The immunosuppressive effect of green tea and ginger were mediated through a decrease in IL-2 production, but the immunostimulatory effects of dong quai and milk thistle were not [24].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Milk Thistle


  1. Mechanisms and preclinical efficacy of silibinin in preventing skin cancer. Singh, R.P., Agarwal, R. Eur. J. Cancer (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Gram-positive bacteria specific properties of silybin derived from Silybum marianum. Lee, D.G., Kim, H.K., Park, Y., Park, S.C., Woo, E.R., Jeong, H.G., Hahm, K.S. Arch. Pharm. Res. (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. Treatment of alcoholic liver disease. Bergheim, I., McClain, C.J., Arteel, G.E. Digestive diseases (Basel, Switzerland) (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Digestive disease week 2000. American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Rosenthal, P. IDrugs : the investigational drugs journal. (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. Study of the hypoglycaemic activity of Fraxinus excelsior and Silybum marianum in an animal model of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Maghrani, M., Zeggwagh, N.A., Lemhadri, A., El Amraoui, M., Michel, J.B., Eddouks, M. Journal of ethnopharmacology. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Silibinin decreases prostate-specific antigen with cell growth inhibition via G1 arrest, leading to differentiation of prostate carcinoma cells: implications for prostate cancer intervention. Zi, X., Agarwal, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1999) [Pubmed]
  7. Milk thistle and prostate cancer: differential effects of pure flavonolignans from Silybum marianum on antiproliferative end points in human prostate carcinoma cells. Davis-Searles, P.R., Nakanishi, Y., Kim, N.C., Graf, T.N., Oberlies, N.H., Wani, M.C., Wall, M.E., Agarwal, R., Kroll, D.J. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. Silibinin up-regulates insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 expression and inhibits proliferation of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. Zi, X., Zhang, J., Agarwal, R., Pollak, M. Cancer Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
  9. A flavonoid antioxidant, silymarin, affords exceptionally high protection against tumor promotion in the SENCAR mouse skin tumorigenesis model. Lahiri-Chatterjee, M., Katiyar, S.K., Mohan, R.R., Agarwal, R. Cancer Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
  10. Milk thistle for the treatment of liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Jacobs, B.P., Dennehy, C., Ramirez, G., Sapp, J., Lawrence, V.A. Am. J. Med. (2002) [Pubmed]
  11. Silymarin prevents UV irradiation-induced A375-S2 cell apoptosis. Li, L.H., Wu, L.J., Zhou, B., Wu, Z., Tashiro, S., Onodera, S., Uchiumi, F., Ikejima, T. Biol. Pharm. Bull. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. Cisplatin nephrotoxicity and protection by milk thistle extract in rats. Karimi, G., Ramezani, M., Tahoonian, Z. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. (2005) [Pubmed]
  13. Effect of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) on the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan. van Erp, N.P., Baker, S.D., Zhao, M., Rudek, M.A., Guchelaar, H.J., Nortier, J.W., Sparreboom, A., Gelderblom, H. Clin. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
  14. Molecular structure and stereochemistry of silybin A, silybin B, isosilybin A, and isosilybin B, Isolated from Silybum marianum (milk thistle). Lee, D.Y., Liu, Y. J. Nat. Prod. (2003) [Pubmed]
  15. The in vitro effect of Helichrysi flos on microsomal lipid peroxidation. Czinner, E., Hagymási, K., Blázovics, A., Kéry A, n.u.l.l., Szoke E, n.u.l.l., Lemberkovics E, n.u.l.l. Journal of ethnopharmacology. (2001) [Pubmed]
  16. Restoration of the cellular thiol status of peritoneal macrophages from CAPD patients by the flavonoids silibinin and silymarin. Täger, M., Dietzmann, J., Thiel, U., Hinrich Neumann, K., Ansorge, S. Free Radic. Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
  17. Silymarin as a new hepatoprotective agent in experimental cholestasis: new possibilities for an ancient medication. Crocenzi, F.A., Roma, M.G. Current medicinal chemistry. (2006) [Pubmed]
  18. In vivo assessment of botanical supplementation on human cytochrome P450 phenotypes: Citrus aurantium, Echinacea purpurea, milk thistle, and saw palmetto. Gurley, B.J., Gardner, S.F., Hubbard, M.A., Williams, D.K., Gentry, W.B., Carrier, J., Khan, I.A., Edwards, D.J., Shah, A. Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. (2004) [Pubmed]
  19. Herb-drug interactions: a literature review. Hu, Z., Yang, X., Ho, P.C., Chan, S.Y., Heng, P.W., Chan, E., Duan, W., Koh, H.L., Zhou, S. Drugs (2005) [Pubmed]
  20. Cell signaling and regulators of cell cycle as molecular targets for prostate cancer prevention by dietary agents. Agarwal, R. Biochem. Pharmacol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  21. Herbal modulation of P-glycoprotein. Zhou, S., Lim, L.Y., Chowbay, B. Drug Metab. Rev. (2004) [Pubmed]
  22. Silibinin down-regulates prostate epithelium-derived Ets transcription factor in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Thelen, P., Jarry, H., Ringert, R.H., Wuttke, W. Planta Med. (2004) [Pubmed]
  23. Assessing the clinical significance of botanical supplementation on human cytochrome P450 3A activity: comparison of a milk thistle and black cohosh product to rifampin and clarithromycin. Gurley, B., Hubbard, M.A., Williams, D.K., Thaden, J., Tong, Y., Gentry, W.B., Breen, P., Carrier, D.J., Cheboyina, S. Journal of clinical pharmacology. (2006) [Pubmed]
  24. In vitro immunomodulatory effects of herbal products. Wilasrusmee, C., Siddiqui, J., Bruch, D., Wilasrusmee, S., Kittur, S., Kittur, D.S. The American surgeon. (2002) [Pubmed]
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