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Tags: silymarin | fatty liver | hepatitis | MSG

Suppressing Fatty Liver Disease

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 04:24 PM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the first reported benefits of silymarin (milk thistle) was liver protection and improvement of liver diseases.

Specifically, it offered significant protection from liver damage by a chemical called carbon tetrachloride, which was used in fire extinguishers many years ago.

Of greater interest is the use of silymarin to protect the liver from damage by hepatitis viruses, especially hepatitis C.

One study found that silymarin inhibited the entry and replication of the hepatitis C virus into liver cells, preventing infection. In that study, researchers used a special high-absorption form of silymarin.

Another study found that silymarin prevented other viruses, including influenza, from infecting cells as well.

Silymarin has been tested on human patients with hepatitis C. In one study on patients who were not taking the usual interferon medications, researchers found that a significant number of the subjects experienced correction of elevated liver enzymes. A few had excellent suppression of the virus.

One of the fastest growing disorders of the liver, called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is increasing in adults and the young alike. This condition is characterized by a fatty degeneration of the liver, which in some cases can progress to liver failure by cirrhosis.

NAFLD is most often caused by an excessive intake of high fructose corn syrup, trans fatty acids, and monosodium glutamate (MSG), especially in combination.

Silymarin has been shown to powerfully suppress and correct NAFLD in animal studies. Human studies have confirmed the extract’s usefulness in treating NAFLD.

It appears that the disease mechanisms in NAFLD are intense free radical generation, lipid peroxidation, and inflammation in liver cells — all of which are prevented by silymarin. High-absorption forms of silymarin are even more effective.

Because silymarin has such a good safety profile, a person can take high doses for prolonged periods. One recent study found that a combination of probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids dramatically corrected NAFLD.

Alcoholic liver disease is also quite common, and can lead to liver failure or even liver cancer. Silymarin has been shown to reverse many of the liver abnormalities seen in alcoholic patients, including inflammation, high levels of free radicals and lipid peroxidation, insulin resistance, abnormal lipids, and decreased antioxidant network components.

In one double-blind study of 60 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, researchers found that silymarin normalized liver enzymes, corrected serum bilirubin, and reduced inflammatory changes in the liver.

But not all studies have shown this dramatic effect. Studies that failed to show prolonged survival may have used patients with more advanced disease.

One trial of 170 patients with cirrhosis found that at the four-year survival point, 58 percent who were given silymarin survived, while only 39 percent in the placebo group survived. The greatest benefit was seen with alcoholic cirrhosis.49

Liver disease is also common in diabetic patients, which can lead to chronic cirrhosis and liver failure. This severe scarring of the liver develops as a result of high levels of free radicals, lipid peroxidation, and low levels of antioxidant network compounds in the liver.

Silymarin has been shown to relieve these harmful effects on the liver and restore the antioxidant network. This also explains why silymarin is useful in protecting the liver in cases of hepatitis, exposure to liver-damaging chemicals, and alcoholic liver disease.

In most studies, silymarin was used alone. Better results would be expected when multiple natural therapies known to benefit the liver health are combined. These include, taurine, R-lipoic acid, multiple B vitamins, vitamin C, mixed tocotrienols, indole-3 carbinol, curcumin, DHA, quercetin, and hesperidin.

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One of the first reported benefits of silymarin (milk thistle) was liver protection and improvement of liver diseases.
silymarin, fatty liver, hepatitis, MSG
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 04:24 PM
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