Milk thistle is an edible plant from which a polyphenol extract is produced, the silymarin, which is considered as the most active component. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to treat liver diseases. Because of these hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, is being used widely by various botanists. Also it has not any known side effect.
Lately, Silymarin has been investigated in clinical researches regarding its beneficial effects in diabetic patients Type 2. Silymarin was administrated to patients with diabetes, who were receiving already treatment, in tablets of 200mg 3 times a day for 4 months, the blood tests showed significant decrease in the glycated hemoglobin, fasting glucose, total and LDL cholesterol, and also reduction of the levels of the triglycerides (Huseini HF, Phytother Res. 2006 Dec). In a similar research, the volunteers who received Silymarin managed to reduce their body mass index (high BMI indicates existence of large fat percentage) alongside with other beneficial results, such as reduction of postprandial and fasting glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (Hussain SA, J Med Food. 2007 Sept).
Even when Silymarin was administrated in smaller amounts (140 mg, 3 times a day for 3 months) has managed to achieve some beneficial effects in diabetic patients with renal disease by reducing almost all indicators of inflammation and oxidative stress and also kidney disease markers (ratio of albumin/creatinine urine) (Fallahzadeh MK, Am J Kidney Dis. 2012 Dec).
Finally, when Silymarin was given complementary to normal medical treatment of diabetic patients for 45 days at doses of 140mg, 3 times daily, has managed again to reduce the markers of inflammation (C – reactive protein) associated with the development/appearance of cardiovascular diseases (Ebrahimpour Koujan S, Phytomedicine, 2015 Feb).