The information on this page is not a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a qualified, licensed professional.
A Canary's Eye View — Supplements
A Canary's-Eye View
Metabolic Basis


Other AltMed
What's New
CHC Home
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum):
active ingredient, silymarin

Mechanisms and effects

  • antioxidant/free radical scavenger especially in the liver
  • increases production of glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and other antioxidants
  • increases bile production
  • inhibits lipoxygenase, preventing leukotrienes from attacking the liver
  • stimulates the production of protein in the liver, resulting in growth of new cells to replace old or damaged ones
  • prevention and treatment of liver damage caused by alcohol or toxic chemicals
  • may also help reduce liver damage from acetaminophen.


  • NOW

Contraindications (?!)

My Experience

  • I took this for six years. After the first year there was a dramatic improvement in my general health; after six I suddenly started having a liver attack when I took it!
  • Later I understood that I easily OD on glutathione: I don't metabolize it correctly, due to a genetic defect, and cysteine builds up in my system.
  • Now I'm taking prescription glutathione in a very small dose, but it's expensive; I may try silymarin again -- cautiously!

For More Information

copyright © 2002 by Catherine Holmes Clark. Last updated 27 June 2002