A recent study was published in Phytotherapy Research (Phytother Res 2006;20:1036-9). 51 adults with type 2 diabetes were given either silymarin (a milk thistle extract) or a placebo for four months. The average fasting blood glucose level fell 15% in the silymarin (milk thistle) group, compared with an increase of 13% in the placebo group. Other markers of diabetes management improved in the silymarin group but did not change or worsened in the placebo group.
The Center’s doctors have started to use Milk Thistle Extract in many of our diabetic patients. We exclusively use Milk Thistle Extract that has been extracted with Ethanol and Water only.
We do so because we are concerned about the long-term toxic effects of high levels of solvent residue that often can be found in Milk Thistle Extract. Most Milk Thistle Extract on the market has been extracted with methanol, acetone, hexane or ethyl acetate and usually contains unacceptably high levels of some of these solvents. We think it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you or someone you know has type 2 diabetes and would like to know what natural medicines can improve blood sugar control and reduce drug use, make an appointment (860-347-8600) to consult with one of our doctors. We’d be happy to help.