A flavanone compound in milk thistle, silibinin, may stop the growth and spread of liver cancer, suggests a laboratory study from the University of California, Irvine.
The in vitro study, published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, used human liver cancer cells exposed to different doses of silibinin, and found that the milk thistle compound could inhibit the spread of the cells and promote programmed cell death (apoptosis).
"Our findings not only indicate silibinin's novel anti-cancer mechanisms, but also provide additional targets for searching new agents for HCC chemoprevention," concluded the researchers.
Bonnie - milk thistle, also commonly referred to as silymarin, is a very safe herb that we recommend by itself or in a complex for liver protection called Hepagen. While we rarely comment on in-vitro studies, milk thistle has been very well-researched in human clinical trials, so we are comfortable posting these results.