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Milk thistle

Study shows milk thistle extract treats diabetes by lowering blood sugar, protecting liver

Thursday, November 02, 2006 by: Ben Kage
Tags: milk thistle, diabetes, blood sugar

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(NewsTarget) As waistlines increase so does the spread of type 2 diabetes, but an Iranian study has shown that Silybum marianum (silymarin) -- an antioxidant extracted from milk thistle seeds -- can help treat the condition, and its flavolignans can also protect the liver.

The research published in Phytotherapy Research looked at a group of 51 patients who had type 2 diabetes for at least two years. The entire group continued traditional oral hypoglycemic treatments during the trial, and were examined monthly. Twenty-five of the participants were given 200 milligrams of silymarin three times daily for four months, and the remaining 26 received a placebo.

The treatment group showed a significant reduction in glycosylated hemoglobin (sugar bound to hemoglobin in the blood), fasting blood glucose levels, and an insignificant decrease in blood lipids. The fasting blood glucose levels and glycosylated hemoglobin levels increased significantly in the placebo group.

"We don't know the exact mechanism of action for this effect, but this work shows that silymarin could play an important role in treating type 2 diabetes," said lead author Fallah Huseini of the Institute of Medicinal Plants, Tehran, Iran.

"Silymarin seems to be more effective at controlling blood sugar than even the most expensive diabetes drugs," said Mike Adams, author of "How to Halt Diabetes in 25 Days." "Yet silymarin actually protects the liver instead of damaging it like pharmaceuticals do. This is genuine medicine provided by nature."

More information on herbs such as silymarin and health issues such as type 2 diabetes, visit www.HerbReference.com.

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