What is Silymarin?Silymarin is a polyphenolic flavonoid derived from milk thistle. Silymarin consists of three phytochemicals: silybin, silidianin and silicristin. Silybin is the most active phytochemicals and is largely responsible for the claimed benefits of silymarin.
DistributionSimylarin is found in milk thistle.
Health Benefits of SilymarinSilymarin is a antioxidant or free radical scavenger. Skin care products often contain silymarin because it antioxidant activity may reduce the risk for skin cancer risk. Silymarin provides protection against different stages of UVB-induced carcinogenesis. Silymarin protects the liver by promoting the growth of new liver cells. By inhibiting lipid peroxidation silymarin helps to reduce or prevent liver damage caused by alcohol, poisonous mushrooms, drugs and other toxins. Silymarin also helps with the digestion of fats. Studies indicate that silymarin decreasing endogenous insulin overproduction and the need for exogenous insulin administration. Silymarin has also anti-atherosclerotic activity, by inhibiting the expression of adhesion molecules. Pharmacological studies show that silymarin is not toxic.
Improves milk production
Animal studies show that silymarin stimulates milk production by increasing serum prolactin levels, but the effect on humans is still not established. In 2010 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) rejected a health claim application linking a milk thistle extract, containing 40-80% silymarin, to an increased production of breast milk in woman after delivery.