Milk Thistle Acne
October 18, 2011
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Milk thistle is a flowering herb. Silymarin can be extracted from the seeds (fruit). The seeds are used to
prepare capsules containing powdered herb or seed; extracts; and infusions (strong teas).  Milk thistle
silymarin has anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective, and anticarcinogenic effects. These effects are probably
related to inhibition of activation of NF-kappa B and the kinases. Silymarin also has anti-oxidative effects.

Milk thistle may have anti-microbial effects, as its ingredient silybin inhibited RNA and protein synthesis on
gram-positive bacteria. Milk thistle and lecithin complex has anti-atherosclerotic activity in rabbits. [10] Thus,
milk thistle may benefit people at risk of cardiovascular issues. Milk thistle may also support patients suffered
from cancers, as its ingredients show anti-cancer activities. Further, milk thistle may benefit people suffered
from diabetes.

There are also some pieces of evidence that milk thistle have the protective effects for liver. A double blind
study of 170 patients with cirrhosis demonstrated that a milk thistle extract treatment was effective on alcoholic
cirrhosis. Milk thistle extracts retarded the development of alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis in 12 baboons. Milk
liver injury are probably related to inhibition of leukotriene B (4) formation by silibinin. For details, please,
milk thistle benefits.
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Reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed
to be accurate. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is
important to seek the advice of a physician about any medical condition or symptom or the benefits and side
effects of a supplement or a drug product. Finally, please, do not transfer the article to other website. Thank

There are online articles arguing that "Milk thistle is a demulcent, it also greatly softens and moistens the skin.
Patients with skin problems ranging from acne to severe eczema have reported a clearing of skin impurities,
healing of redness and inflammation, a dramatic softening and moistening of dry, cracking skin...."
other articles claim
"Milk thistle boosts liver action which consequently increases your body’s cleansing, thus,
milk thistle is a common herb used for acne."

Unfortunately, there is no scientific article about how milk thistle benefits acne reported (as of October 17,
2011). But, there are reports about how silymarin, an active from milk thistle protects skin cells from ultraviolet
radiation or skin cancer. [AC1-AC3]

I am not sure if milk thistle really can benefit people suffered from acne, because there is no direct evidence.
However, there are some scientific studies supporting the idea that milk thistle may improve skin conditions.


AC1. Katiyar SK, et al, Silymarin protects epidermal keratinocytes from ultraviolet radiation-induced apoptosis
and DNA damage by nucleotide excision repair mechanism. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21410. [AC2] Vaid M et al,
Molecular mechanisms of inhibition of photocarcinogenesis by silymarin, a phytochemical from milk thistle
(Silybum marianum L. Gaertn.) (Review).Int J Oncol. 2010 May;36(5):1053-60. [AC3] Singh RP et al,
Mechanisms and preclinical efficacy of silibinin in preventing skin cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2005 Sep;41(13):1969-