Milk thistle may be effective for the following people:
Some evidence suggests that when its extract is used as a supplement to conventional therapies, it may help control blood sugar in diabetic patients. In two studies of 80 people with type 2 diabetes, silymarin (420 mg/day) improved symptoms. It reduced fasting blood glucose, insulin and insulin resistance within 45 days. The extract used in this study is called Livergol and is produced by Goldaru Herbal Products Pharmaceuticals. In another trial of 51 patients with type 2 diabetes, the addition of silymarin (600 mg/day) to standard therapy for 4 months reduced short-term and long-term blood glucose levels (fasting blood glucose and HbA1C).
The combination of Silybum marianum and Berberol was also studied. In a study of 85 patients with type 1 diabetes, whose combination reduced the insulin dose required to control blood sugar and also lowered blood lipids.
In a trial of 60 people with diabetes and alcoholic liver damage, silymarin (600 mg/day) improved insulin resistance and oxidative stress, while reducing the need for insulin injections within 1 year.
When used as a supplement to standard therapies, milk thistle can support blood sugar control in diabetic patients.
2. Metabolic syndrome.
In patients with metabolic syndrome, it is not clear which disease signs milk thistle affects. Some evidence suggests that the extract can improve blood sugar control in patients with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
In 136 obese patients with type 2 diabetes, the combination of berberine and silymarin improved some disease indicators after 6 months. It reduces fasting blood sugar and insulin, improves insulin resistance, increases HDL, and lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also reduces BMI, waist circumference and belly fat.
Scientists are studying the role of milk thistle in cells. It seems to block pancreatic lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat in the intestines and helps absorb fat. By blocking this enzyme, it can theoretically reduce the amount of fat absorbed from the diet. However, this mechanism has not been proven in humans.
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