Therapeutic actions: Silymarin provides hepatocellular protection by stabilizing hepatic cell membranes. It alter the structure of the outer cell membrane of the hepatocytes in such a way as to prevent the penetration of the liver toxins into interior of the cell. The stimulation effect on nucleolar polymerase A results in an increase in ribosomal protein synthesis, and thus increase the regenerative ability of the liver and the formation of new hepatocytes. Other actions include interruption of enterohepatic recirculation of toxins and regeneration of damaged hepatocytes.
Indications: Liver Cell Growth-Silymarin from milk thistle appears to promote the growth of some types of cells in the liver. Milk thistle is not used to prevent Hepatitis C Virus from causing liver disease. Rather, milk thistle is used with the hope that it would minimize the damage to the liver that HCV can cause.
Antihepatotoxic Activity-Studies suggest that silymarin from milk thistle can block various types of toxins from entering and injuring liver cells.
Antioxidation-Milk thistle Silymarin may be an effective "antioxidant," which means milk thistle may help fight a destructive chemical process in the body known as "oxidation." In oxidation, harmful substances produced in the body (called free radicals) can damage cells. Some studies suggest that milk thistle silymarin can prevent these substances from damaging liver cells.
Inflammation Inhibition-Milk thistle's Silymarin is thought to prevent inflammation (swelling) of the liver; this may be described as displaying anti-inflammatory properties.