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Post Info TOPIC: Milk Thistle Totally Bogus


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RE: Milk Thistle Totally Bogus
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Hey there Fam,

my 2 cents on MT - I've taken it for years. A standardized version of it.  I believe it has helped my liver remain healthy over the 33+ years I've had the virus. I've also taken really good care of myself with diet and exercise, along with stress management.

That being said, since it is a natural substance that can't be patented, the NIH,, WHO and pharmaceutical industries have sniffed at it over the years. No $$ to be made there.

There were several studies with MT in Germany in the late 70's and into the 80's that used a standardized version with positive results. The study results are out there for all to see.

It is an anti inflammatory, not a cure. The trick to living with this virus w/o an available cure (which was the case until only the last decade)  is keeping the inflammation down. That includes other dietary concerns also.  Not just solely using the MT. Keep the inflammation down and you have less fibrotic and cirrhotic sx.

I'm just sayin' - also my NP said it was fine to continue the MT during treatment. So I am. I responding (knock on wood) today. Thanks for letting me share Kel

 



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HCV 1A 1980. Dual tx 2003 -UND at wk 11-discontinued due to severe depression

Started Triple 4/16/13 for 24 weeks

UND wk 4,6,8,12,17 & 24

E.O.T. 9/29/13

EOT + 12 weeks=SVR, and EOT +26 weeks=Cured!

Tig


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Thanks for the information. I think that there is a disagreement or rather difference of opinion on what MT is capable of. There are those misguided folks that believe it is a cure all for the disease and those like me that believe there are genuine medical benefits from it. There is no denying that it is used for mushroom poisoning with very positive results. There are continuing studies on everything and there will continue to be differing opinions on the efficacy of MT and the validity of those studies. I fail to see the overall benefit of negative statements when the jury is still out on many levels. If MT provides any benefit at all and many believe it does then I fail to see a reason to discourage its use. I saw a significant decrease in my ALT's after I started using it and my Dr. felt that MT may well be responsible for the improving and stable numbers. That was something I could believe in, something the studies against its benefit never provided. Of course that's JMHO! Thanks again for your interest!



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Tig

63 yo GT1A - 5 Mil - A2/F3 - (1996) Intron A - Non Responder, (2013) Peg/Riba/Vic SOT:05/23/13 EOT:12/04/13 SVR 6+ years!

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Hi Tig56,

By all means take milk thistle if you like. The latest studies in 2012 and 2013 show that you're wasting your time and money. It has been shown to show elevations of ALT in some patients. I'll include a couple of links.

 

http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/071812

 

 



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Geno 1b, IL28B CT,  x3 prior relapser,  ex-cirrhotic, 75 yo, did 48 weeks with Victrelis/Peg./Riba.  VL 1.28m at start, UNDET. at 8 ,12 ,16 ,24 ,30  and 48 weeks.  EOT 15 Feb 2013 , UNDET. at EOT + 28 weeks. SVR!  Still Undet. at EOT +5 years

Malcolm

Tig


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I came across this thread as I was looking for information here and thought I'd add my .02. I've taken Milk Thistle since I found out I was HCV+ back in 96. My specialist then and now both said there is definite benefits from MT and encouraged me to take it. I asked the pharmacy that is in charge of my meds now about taking it while on treatment and they said to go ahead if that has been part of my routine. I'm a bit concerned though seeing some of you and your doctors/nurses say "NO"!! Did any of you that stopped taking the MT after being told to find out what problems may occur as a result of continuance? I have always had very good liver function tests and biopsies over the years and attribute that to the way I always treated my liver while not on any prescriptive treatment plan. I have always taken a good quality MT twice a day, and I've either been very lucky or the MT has provided some very good benefits. I'm quick to remind people that ask me about it that MT is not a cure for HCV and anyone saying differently is a snake oil salesman. But I do believe that there are significant benefits from taking it regularly.



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Tig

63 yo GT1A - 5 Mil - A2/F3 - (1996) Intron A - Non Responder, (2013) Peg/Riba/Vic SOT:05/23/13 EOT:12/04/13 SVR 6+ years!

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Just an update on this oft-discussed topic.

 

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/silymarin_herbal_remedy_hepatitis_c_does_not_work-92260



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Geno 1b, IL28B CT,  x3 prior relapser,  ex-cirrhotic, 75 yo, did 48 weeks with Victrelis/Peg./Riba.  VL 1.28m at start, UNDET. at 8 ,12 ,16 ,24 ,30  and 48 weeks.  EOT 15 Feb 2013 , UNDET. at EOT + 28 weeks. SVR!  Still Undet. at EOT +5 years

Malcolm



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I take it and when I start this clinical trial my dr said "No milk thistle" so when I start I will stop.....but I believe in milk thistle.

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Geno type 1A Started Abbott clinical trial mid Jan 2013. :-)

Viral load when I started this trial 4.75million  Went 12wks on placebo and started real meds on 4/5/13 after 1wk  on real meds 25 after UND @3wks,6wks.w00t: Done trial 6/27/13 and still UND.

 



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Evidence of efficacy for both silymarin and quercetagenin against HCV RNA:

http://www.deutschesapothekenportal.de/fileadmin/silibinin/abstract_pawlotsky.html

Inhibition of HCV Core gene by silymarin in 3a geno type:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21453551

Successful HCV eradication and inhibition of HIV replication by intravenous silibinin in an HIV-HCV coinfected patient. (University of Vienna)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20709593

"Silymarin, also known as milk thistle extract, inhibits hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and also displays antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory actions that contribute to its hepatoprotective effects."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20231449

"Silymarin did not inhibit HCV Replication.... Silymarin inhibited microsomal triglyceride transfer protein activity, apolipoprotein B secretion, and infectious virion production into culture supernatants. Silymarin also blocked cell-to-cell spread of virus. CONCLUSION: Although inhibition of in vitro NS5B polymerase activity is demonstrable, the mechanisms of silymarin's antiviral action appear to include blocking of virus entry and transmission, possibly by targeting the host cell."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20512985

 

 

 

 

 

 



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My Dr. is a liver/gastro specialest for many years at the University of Alberta Hospital. In the last appointment priort to starting treatment she and her nurses were very clear about what they expected, this included;

#1 - No alcohol/drugs what so ever as this is the equivilant of throwing gas on a burning fire.

#2 - No smoking of anything, at any time for any reason as this is once again gas for the fire.

#3 - No other liver meds, flush kits or side effects treatments without prior approval, herbal, organic, natural or otherwise. As this can cause negitive response to treatment.

Milk Thisle is a well known ingredient in liver flush kits.



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"my plan is to live forever.........so far so good"

Genotype 3a, started 2 X tx Aug 19/11on Rib/Peg 36 wk tx, VL <43 UND in wk 8, Enzymes were 78 now at 22.

August 31/12 alls good in the blood work!

November 5/12 SRV Obtained, YAHOO! YEEPEE!



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Three Reasons to Be Wary of Recently Publicized Milk Thistle Doubt

Because conflicting information about milk thistle can be confusing to those wanting to protect their liver, get the whole story about the latest study.

http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2011/11/three_reasons_t.html

References

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/753370?src=mp&spon=20, Milk Thistle Proven Ineffective for Treating Liver Disease, Neil Canavan, Retrieved November 26, 2011, Medscape Medical News, 2011.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22091246, Effects of silybum marianum on patients with chronic hepatitis C, Kalantari H., et al, Retrieved November 26, 2011, Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, March 2011.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Milk%20Thistle%20Research%20-%20Herbal%20product%20use%20by%20persons%20enrolled%20in%20the%20HALT-C%20Trial, Herbal product use by persons enrolled in the hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) Trial, Seeff, LB, et al, Retrieved November 26, 2011, Hepatology, February 2008.

http://www.salamresearch.com/html/milk_thistle_product.html, Report: Milk Thistle Product, Retrieved November 26, 2011, Salam Research, 2011.



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Geno 3a. 24 wks tx 20/10/05 - 06/04/06. Achieved SVR.



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When I first saw my doctor about 3 years ago, he did not recommend treatment my Hep C at the time.  He did say that milk thistle had been shown to help the liver in some studies, an though he thought the verdict was still out, he didn't think it would hurt.   There are also a couple of herbal teas that I was drinking that supposedly helped.

I think the main thing before trying something to "help", is to STOP doing anything to HURT your liver.   The big three that I was told:

1. Don't drink - not even one! 

2. Don't take tylenol, and don't forget that a lot of pain medications like hydrocodone, etc. have tylenol in them! 

3. Do not eat raw shellfish.

 

 



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Diagnosed Dec. 2008. Genotype 1b, enlarged liver.  Started triple tx with Incivek on August 12, 2011.



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Hi folks, this is clearly quite a confusing subject, especially for people who for one reason or another are not currently receiving medical tx for Hep C and who are looking for other ways of managing their symptoms.

No herbal product can be viewed as a `cure` for HCV of course, but there is evidence to suggest that it can be a useful herb in improving symptoms of the disease.

An earlier study, the HALT -C trial, which examined the potential benefits of Milk Thistle (silymarin) on people with advanced HCV, showed that even though it had no measurable effect on the HCV itself, it did show that the volunteers in the trial had fewer symptoms and somewhat better quality-of-life indices.

 http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/News_Resources/news/2008/April/Milk+Thistle+Research+Herbal+product+use+by+persons+enrolled+in+the+HALT-C+Trial

However, any herbal product you consider should be viewed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and, as Minerva (Heather) pointed out, no herbal product should be taken without approval from your doctor, as it could aggravate other medical problems or interfere with any other medication you are taking.

Basically, if you are considering taking any herbal product as a way of managing your Hep C then please proceed with caution!

Best wishes to you all, Jill xx

 





-- Edited by Cinnamon Girl on Sunday 20th of November 2011 10:52:03 AM

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Jill 

(70 yo, lives in UK)

Was Gen 3a, 

24wks Peg Ifn/Riba, Sep 2010 - Mch 2011

UND @ Wk.4, UND @ EOT, 

SVR Nov 2011 --> Still UND @ EOT + 4 yrs.

 

 



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Interesting study. My doctor told me it's beleived to help protect the liver. Maybe that's still in the cards I guess as of now we just don't know. This incivek stuff is pretty sweet tho:)

God bless,

Mike



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Diagnosed in 2008. Geno 1a. 6 month treatment of Incivek. UND at 4 weeks, and have remained that way as of 2 months POST treatment.



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Opps forgot to say hello and good luck with HCV it's definetly beatable!

-- Edited by James10500 on Sunday 20th of November 2011 01:28:45 AM

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Diagnosed 4/13/10; Started Tx 8/13/10; SVR 7/27/11


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Please keep in mind. That link is to an article Nicole Cutler wrote. Not a clinical study. Oh Nicole sells MT.

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Diagnosed 4/13/10; Started Tx 8/13/10; SVR 7/27/11


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Hi Kelsy and a warm welcome to the forum from me. smile

Like most herbal remedies, there will always be mixed opinions on their benefits - (perhaps moreso here due to the number of snakeoil salesemen out there who try to exploit people who are unwell). 

Some people however, do believe that Milk Thistle can be beneficial in,

1. aiding in detoxification

2. neutralizing threats to the liver (like free radicals) 

3. helping liver cells deflect potential hazards

(http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/News_Resources/news/2010/March/New+Evidence+for+Milk+Thistle

If your GP has recommended it is ok for you to use it then i'd suggest that you follow their advice, unless you find it is causing you any bother.  (Personally, i found it irritated underlying IBS that i had, but that's not to say it would have that reaction with everyone).

Just in general, it is always worth checking with your Dr before taking any herbal supplements.

Hugs

Heather xxx

 



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Finished TX 2005. Geno 3. Achieved SVR - Heather.

When You Are Up To Your Neck In It - Keep Your Chin Up!!

'Knowledge. Is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad'. My dad. X.


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Wow. TY for the info. My dr had told me to take milk thistle.



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Herb Favored by Hep C Patients Has No Medical Benefit: Study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Nov 10 - "Milk thistle extract, an herbal supplement popular among patients with chronic liver disease, had no benefit for hepatitis C patients, a new study found.

In a randomized multicenter trial, milk thistle-the botanical compound silymarin-did not beat the placebo at improving liver function test results.

"The study was not able to document specific efficacy in hepatitis C virus," said Dr. Henry Bodenheimer, Jr., a hepatologist at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City who chaired the study's data safety monitoring committee.

"Milk thistle is also used in many other forms of liver disease, but has not often been systematically studied," Dr. Bodenheimer added in an email to Reuters Health.

Dr. Michael Fried, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the study, presented the results November 8 at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases annual meeting in San Francisco.

Patients take silymarin as an alternative to, or to supplement, conventional HCV therapy, which can be toxic and have a limited effect, Dr. Bodenheimer said.

Accordingly, Dr. Fried's team restricted the study to 154 hepatitis C patients who had not responded to interferon therapies. The patients also had serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzyme levels greater than 65 IU/L, with a median of 106 IU/L. A normal level is 45 IU/L, Dr. Fried's team writes.

The researchers randomly assigned the patients to one of three groups, two of which took high doses of a standardized form of silymarin at 420mg or 700mg three times daily. The third group took a placebo.

The silymarin doses in the study were 4.5-7.5 times higher than customary, the researchers said in their abstract for the meeting. The doses were chosen based on results of an earlier phase I study.

Of the 138 patients who completed the 24-week study, 90% were able to adhere to at least 80% of the pill regimen. In spite of the compliance, however, the mean drop in serum ALT was not significantly different between the three groups. And only two patients in each group met the primary endpoint, either normalization of ALT or a drop of at least 50% from baseline.

Silymarin is a polyphenolic flavenoid that, in vitro, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Its pharmacokinetics in this study, and its effect on hepatitis C virus RNA, have not yet been reported.

"In my experience, the use of this agent is patient driven rather than being prescribed by physicians," Dr. Bodenheimer said."



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