Which silymarin/milk thistle?

NYBC has expanded its offerings of the key liver supportive supplement MilkThistle (Silymarin). The Jarrow product, which has good quality control, continues as the standard silymarin offering:


We are also stocking Milk Thistle/Silybin Advanced, which is designed for enhanced absorption:


And we are stocking the Milk Thistle/Thisilyn Pro product from MMS, which, while more expensive than the others, is produced according to the proverbially exacting standards of the German pharmaceutical industry. Milk thistle being one of the classic items in the German herbal pharmacopoeia, we feel assured that there is extra careful quality control behind this item:


As background, we provide NYBC’s capsule summary of how to use silymarin/milk thistle, what cautions should be observed, and what other supplements might be useful along with it:

A potent liver-strengthening herb, it stimulates the liver to regenerate itself by producing new liver cells as well as having strong antioxidant action to help prevent lipid-peroxidation of cell membranes. Given to seven patients receiving tuberculosis drugs (INH and ethambutol), a standardized silymarin extract normalized elevated liver enzymes after three months treatment. Many people with hepatitis C use milk thistle. It is extremely safe. Some studies suggest it may help to reverse the scarring known as fibrosis. Chilean researchers have discovered that silymarin increases glutathione in the liver, stomach and intestines by over 50% although it was not shown to increase GSH levels in other organs. Milk thistle may interact with cytochrome P450–specifically the 3A4 enzyme. This is important since it is used by many AIDS drugs. A study by Piscitelli, et al., happily, found no effect on the plasma level of indinavir (Crixivan). Now we needa study evaluating the potential benefit against the liver toxicities of drugs like nevirapine and ritonavir (Norvir). Anecdotal reports suggest that it may delay CD4 increases with ARV. See also entries on Dandelion Root as well as Hepato-C, Hepato-Detox and Ecliptex (Chinese Herbal Formulae).


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