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The pharmacological studies of silymarin

Oct 14, 2019

Silymarin is an active ingredient in silybin. It mainly exists in seeds. Silymarin is a flavonoid, which is composed of silybin, silybinin, silidianin and silichristin isomers. Silybin has another isomer called isosilybin.

Do you know the pharmacological studies of silymarin extract?


1. Anti-hepatic fibrosis

Liver fibrosis refers to the pathological process of abnormal proliferation of connective tissue in the liver caused by various pathogenic factors, which leads to excessive deposition of diffuse extracellular matrix in the liver. Many chronic liver diseases can cause liver fibrosis. Its etiology can be roughly divided into infectious, congenital metabolic and chemical metabolic deficiencies.

Silymarin has strong free radical scavenging and antioxidant effects. Huang Daixiang et al. studied the protective effects of Panax notoginseng and silymarin on alcoholic liver injury in mice.

2. Anti-tubulointerstitial Fibrosis

Han Meigui et al. studied the effect of silymarin on renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis in rats. They found that silymarin may inhibit the occurrence of fibrosis by down-regulating the expression of ET-1 and ETaR, thus playing a protective role on the kidney.


3. Anti-Tumor Effect

3.1 Regulating Cell Cycle

Cell cycle is regulated by a series of cyclin, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) and CDK inhibitor (CDKI). Once cell cycle regulation is disordered, malignant transformation may occur. Silymarin can induce the expression of TCC and T-24 in human bladder cancer cells, reduce the activity of CDK2, CDK4 and related kinases, block cell cycle in G1 phase to inhibit cell proliferation.

3.2 Induces Apoptosis of Tumor Cells

Silymarin induces apoptosis of melanoma cell A375-S2 by increasing the expression of Fas associated proteins with death domain downstream of death receptor pathway, and then promoting the cleavage of caspase 8 precursor. The growth inhibition effect of silymarin and mitoxantrone, a topoisomerase II inhibitor, can produce synergistic effect to reduce the survival rate of human prostate cancer cell PC-3 and promote the apoptosis of cancer cell.

4. Therapeutic effect of diabetes mellitus

Modern pharmacological studies have shown that silymarin has the effect of treating diabetes and complications. Wang Leilei et al. have studied the protective effect of silymarin on myocardial injury in diabetic rats, they found that silymarin had protective effect on myocardial tissue and myocardial cell apoptosis in diabetic rats.

5. Anti-inflammatory

Silymarin has anti-inflammatory effect, and the occurrence of inflammation is related to NF-kappa B. Once activated by inflammatory factors such as inflammatory agonists, NF-kappa B that can lead to inflammation. Silymarin can inhibit the activation of NF-kappa B by inhibiting the phosphorylation and degradation of I-kappa B, regulate gene expression related to inflammation, cell survival, cell differentiation and cell growth, and play an anti-inflammatory role.

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