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Milk Thistle (PDQ®)

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Changes to This Summary (11/12/2014)

The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.

Human/Clinical Studies

Added text to state that in follow-up, silymarin use was associated with reduced progression of fibrosis to cirrhosis but without an impact on clinical outcome (cited Freedman et al. as reference 15).

Added text state that patients in a phase I pharmacokinetics study for the evaluation of absorption characteristics and determination of effective doses received increasing oral doses of silymarin; a subsequent multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, involving 154 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection who had previously failed interferon-based treatment and had raised alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, found that silymarin given orally in higher-than-usual doses failed to significantly reduce serum ALT levels and that no significant adverse effects were associated with silymarin (cited Hawke et al. as reference 19 and Fried et al. as reference 20).

This summary is written and maintained by the PDQ Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of NCI. The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or NIH. More information about summary policies and the role of the PDQ Editorial Boards in maintaining the PDQ summaries can be found on the About This PDQ Summary and PDQ NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Database pages.

  • Updated: November 12, 2014