A new study, published online in the journal Cancer, showed that milk thistle may help reduce the liver inflammation associated with chemotherapy in children with leukemia who undergo aggressive chemotherapies.
This is a very interesting study, which shows that liver toxicity by chemotherapy often leads to lowering the dose of this important chemotherapy. The study was conducted in children being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Here’s the abstract and a story from MedPage Today. You can find more information about Milk Thistle from the University of Maryland’s website.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a herb used for 2,000 years for many different reasons including liver problems. There are a number of scientific studies suggest that substances in milk thistle (especially a flavonoid called silymarin) protects the liver from toxins, including certain drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®), which can cause liver damage in high doses.
The active ingredients of milk thistle is silymarin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. There are also some data that it may help the liver to regenerate. Other studies have shown some promise as an anti-cancer drug. It may stop cancer from growing and stop blood supply.
The active ingredient, or liver-protecting compound, in milk thistle is known as silymarin. Silymarin is actually a group of flavonoids (silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin), which are thought to help repair liver cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances. Silymarin reduces inflammation (which is why it is often suggested for people with liver inflammation or hepatitis), and is a potent antioxidant.
We usually recommend about 200-400mg once to three times a day. If you use silymarin phosphatidylcholine complex the doses are 100-200 twice a day.
However please check with your physician, since this drug may have interactions with drugs you are taking. Also check with your pharmacist to rule our any interactions.