Silibinin (INN), also known as silybin, is the major active constituent of silymarin, the mixture of flavonolignans extracted from milk thistle (Silybum marianum) consisting of silibinin A and B, isosibilinin A and B, silicristin, silidianin.
Both in vitro and animal research suggest that silibinin has hepatoprotective (antihepatotoxic) properties that protect liver cells against toxins.
Silibinin has also demonstrated anti-cancer effects against human prostate adenocarcinoma cells, estrogen-dependent and -independent human breast carcinoma cells, human ectocervical carcinoma cells, human colon cancer cells, and both small and non-small human lung carcinoma cells.
Chemically modified silibinin, silibinin dihydrogen disuccinate disodium (trade name Legalon SIL), a solution for injection, is used in treatment of severe intoxications with hepatotoxic substances, such as death cap (Amanita phalloides) poisoning
There is also clinical evidence for the use of silibinin as a supportive element in alcoholic and grade Child ‘A’ liver cirrhosis.
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