Milk thistle for treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Ludovico Abenavoli 1 , * , Gabriella Aviello 2 , Raffaele Capasso 2 , Natasa Milic 3 , Francesco Capasso 2

1 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Magna Grcia, [email protected], Italy

2 Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Federico, Italy

3 Department of Pharmacy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia

How to Cite: Abenavoli L, Aviello G, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. Milk thistle for treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Hepat Mon. Online ahead of Print ; 11(3):173-177.


Hepatitis Monthly: 11 (3); 173-177
Article Type: Review Article
Received: September 25, 2010
Accepted: January 17, 2011


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one the most common causes of chronic liver disorders in the Western world. These patients have many significant comorbidities. The therapeutic approach to NAFLD is based on lifestyle intervention, but there is no consensus on the ideal pharmacological treatment. Silybum marianum, commonly known as milk thistle (MT), is one of the oldest and most extensively researched plants in the treatment of liver diseases. Many studies have demonstrated that the active components of MT silymarin have many hepatoprotective properties. In recent years, several preclinical and clinical reports have described the efficacy of silymarin as a treatment for NAFLD. The chief aim of this review is to discuss the newest and most promising applications of MT in the treatment of NAFLD.

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
This article describes the importance of natural treatment regimen like plant extracts in treating NAFLD and can be attended by general practitioners and family physicians and others who are involved in treating patients with liver disorders.

Please cite this paper as:
Abenavoli L, Aviello G, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. Milk thistle for treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Hepat Mon. 2011;11(3):173-177.

© 0, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

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