In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used to release toxic materials and clearing of heat within the body. This plant supports liver function as well.
Liverubin™ is an available drug in the Indian market that contains silymarin, the major active complex extracted from the medicinal plant milk thistle (Silybum marianum L.).
In the popularly prescribed doses of 140-mg tid is observed to be a promising safe and effective drug in cases of alcoholic liver disease.
Anticarcinogenic - In this study, we investigated the anticarcinogenic effect of silymarin and associated molecular mechanisms, using human breast carcinoma cells MDA-MB 468.
Silymarin treatment resulted in a significantly high to complete inhibition of both anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent cell growth in a dose- and time-dependent manner.
These results suggest that silymarin may exert a strong anticarcinogenic effect against breast cancer and that this effect possibly involves an induction of Cip1/p21 by silymarin, which inhibits the threshold kinase activities of CDKs and associated cyclins, leading to a G1 arrest in cell cycle progression.
Recently we showed that treatment of prostate carcinoma DU145 cells with cancer preventive flavonoid silymarin at 100–200 μM doses inhibits erbB1‐Shc mitogenic signaling and modulates cell cycle regulators leading to a G1 arrest and inhibition of cell growth and anchorage‐independent colony formation.
Here, we asked the question whether these important findings could be extended to other cancer preventive flavonoids and isoflavones such as epigallocatechin 3‐gallate (EGCG) and genistein.
These results suggest that similar to silymarin, genistein and EGCG also inhibit mitogenic signaling pathway(s) and alter cell cycle regulators, albeit at different levels, leading to growth inhibition and death of advanced and androgen‐independent prostate carcinoma cells.
Antioxidant - Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) extract is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, this randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of silymarin supplementation on oxidative stress indices and hs-CRP in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.
Silymarin supplementation improves some antioxidant indices (SOD, GPX and TAC) and decrease hs-CRP levels in T2DM patients.
The results indicate that silymarin exerts novel chemopreventive effects against tumorigenicity by inhibiting endogenous tumor promoter TNFα.
In this study, we assessed whether the anti-skin tumor promoting effects of silymarin are due to its inhibitory effect on EGFR activation and down stream signaling pathway leading to perturbations in cell cycle progression.
These results suggest that skin cancer chemopreventive effects of silymarin are mediated via impairment of EGFR signaling which ultimately leads to perturbation in cell cycle progression resulting in the inhibition of proliferation and induction of growth arrest.
Anti-Inflammatory - Silibinin, from milk thistle, exerts potent anti-inflammatory activities in non-gestational tissues. The aims of this study were to determine the effect of silibinin on pro-inflammatory mediators in (i) human fetal membranes and myometrium treated with bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, and (ii) in preterm fetal membranes with active infection.
This study demonstrates that silibinin can reduce infection and inflammation-induced pro-labour mediators in human fetal membranes and myometrium.
Excitingly, the in vivo results indicate a protective effect of silibinin on infection-induced brain injury in a mouse model of preterm birth.
Anti-angiogenic -Here, they assessed its potential as an anti-angiogenic agent employing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human prostate and breast cancer epithelial cells.
These observations indicate a rapid inhibitory action of silymarin on the secretion of this primary angiogenic cytokine by cancer epithelial cells.
The results of this study support the hypothesis that silymarin possesses an anti-angiogenic potential that may critically contribute to its cancer chemopreventive efficacy.
Anti-Cancer - They explored the anti-cancer activity of silymarin and its molecular target in human oral cancer in vitro and in vivo.
These results provide in vitro and in vivo evidence supporting the anti-cancer effect of silymarin and death receptor 5, and caspase-8 may be essential players in silymarin-mediated apoptosis in oral cancer.