Herbal remedy derived from milk thistle demonstrates efficacy in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
Results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of silymarin, which is derived from the milk thistle plant, have shown that this herbal remedy may be a useful treatment option for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
An interim analysis of the study, revealed today at The International Liver Congress 2015, shows a significantly higher percentage of patients experienced NASH resolution and improvement in fibrosis after 48 weeks of treatment with silymarin compared to placebo.
NASH occurs when the liver becomes inflamed due to the accumulation of fat. Over time, persistent inflammation can lead to the formation of fibrous scar tissue in the liver and around its blood vessels, which can eventually cause cirrhosis.
A total of 64 patients (silymarin = 30, placebo = 34) with biopsy-proven NASH had completed the study at the time of interim analysis. Silymarin has already demonstrated anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties, and these latest study results show that it may be a useful treatment for NASH.