A study published recently in Phytotherapy Research (DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1988) demonstrated that the extract from the seeds of Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum (silymarin) may help in reducing blood sugar among diabetes patients.
The data came from a randomized double-blind clinical trial involving 51 people who had had type II diabetes for at least 2 years. One group of 25 patients received 200 mg of silymarin three times a day for 4 months, while the remaining 26 received a placebo treatment. All of the patients continued to use conventional oral hypoglycaemic treatment during the trial.
At the end of the trial, the treatment group showed a significantly reduced fasting blood glucose levels and a reduction in glycosylated haemoglobin.
Silymarin extract’s mechanism of action, however, remains unknown. It may be attributed to the antioxidants called flavolignans. To verify these data, large multi-center studies will have to be conducted, according to the researchers.