Case Study Suggests Milk Thistle Is Potent Against Hep C
3 Important Aspects of this Case Study
In the Western medical model, one case study is insufficient for declaring a treatment successful. However, this singular case study reminds us that when properly prepared and administered, herbs can be powerful medicine. Several important aspects of this case include:
- The part of milk thistle studied – The entire milk thistle plant was not used in this study but, rather, its most potent component, silibinin (also called silibin or silybin). The entire active part of the milk thistle plant is derived from its seeds and is know as silymarin. However, silymarin can be further broken down into its components. According to most research, silibinin is milk thistle’s most active component and is responsible for the majority of its therapeutic benefits. Natural Wellness’ UltraThistle® uses silybin for its 360mg of the active ingredient Silybin Phytosome® (Siliphos®).
- Milk thistle’s delivery method – One of the characteristics of milk thistle that has hindered many studies is its low absorbability. To bypass the challenge of milk thistle’s absorbability, the case study relied on its intravenous administration. In Europe, silibinin is given by intravenous infusion as the only effective antidote for Amanita phalloides, a mushroom toxin that causes deadly liver failure. For silibinin to be effective orally, it is available in a phytosome form that increases its absorbability up to ten-fold.
- Not a solitary injection – In this example, silibinin was administered together with ribavirin (an antiviral medication) and Vitamin D. Ribavirin is not a monotherapy and must be combined with other medications to treat Hepatitis C. Vitamin D has been shown to be low in people with chronic Hepatitis C. (Natural Wellness’ Vitamin D3 is the natural and more effective form of Vitamin D.) Thus, this woman’s “cure” was a result of combining silibinin with ribavirin and Vitamin D.
There are no claims that milk thistle is an approved treatment for Hepatitis C. However, this case study reminds us that more natural options can be effective at helping to conquer this liver virus. Furthermore, intravenous silibinin or oral silybin phytosome represents valid approaches to support anyone attempting to win the battle over Hepatitis C.
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/milkthistle/Patient/page2, Milk Thistle (PDQ®), Retrieved April 12, 2015, National Cancer Institute, 2015.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21605016, Treatment of hepatitis C-virus-reinfection after liver transplant with silibinin in nonresponders to pegylated interferon-based therapy, Eurich D, et al, Retrieved April 12, 2015, Experimental and Clinical Transplantation, February 2011.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25251042, Sustained virological response with intravenous silibinin: individualized IFN-free therapy via real-time modelling of HCV kinetics, Dahari H, et al, Retrieved April 12, 2015, Liver International, February 2015.
New Pain-Free Alternative to Biopsy: evaluation, treatment and follow-up options for Hepatitis C patients
Coverage Restrictions for Hepatitis C Drugs