Comment: Milk Thistle Extract

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Milk Thistle Extract

Milk thistle extract shown to halt lung cancer progression in its tracks

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 by: John Phillip
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(NaturalNews) Lung cancer is a devastating disease with a traditionally poor survival rate of less than ten percent after five years from diagnosis. There are a number of well documented triggers that cause tissue damage that eventually results in DNA damage, allowing lung cancer cells to develop and spread. Researchers from the University of Colorado publishing in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis found that treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, effectively treated wound development in lung cancer cells by halting the disease and preventing metastasis. Long known for its rejuvenating effects on the liver, milk thistle is now emerging as a viable therapy to help prevent and reverse the damage caused by years of cellular breakdown in lung tissue.

Milk Thistle Extract Stops Lung Cancer in Mice, Study Shows
ScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2011) — Tissue with wound-like conditions allows tumors to grow and spread. In mouse lung cancer cells, treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, removed the molecular billboards that signal these wound-like conditions and so stopped the spread of these lung cancers, according to a recent study published in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis.

Though the natural extract has been used for more than 2,000 years, mostly to treat disorders of the liver and gallbladder, this is one of the first carefully controlled and reported studies to find benefit.
How it works
Basically, in a cell there can be a chain of signals, one leading to the next, to the next, and eventually to an end product. And so if you would like to eliminate an end product, you may look to break a link in the signaling chain that leads to it. The end products COX2 and iNOS are enzymes involved with the inflammatory response to perceived wounds -- both can aid tumor growth. Far upstream in the signaling chain that leads to these unwanted enzymes are STAT1 and STAT3. These transcription factors allow the blueprint of DNA to bind with proteins that continue the signal cascade, eventually leading to the production of harmful COX2 and iNOS.

Milk Thistle May Slow Lung Cancer
Tests on Mice Show Smaller Lung Tumors With Milk Thistle Compound
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
June 20, 2006 -- A compound from the milk thistle plant might slow the progression of lung cancer, according to lab tests done on mice.

The compound, called silibinin, hasn't been studied for lung cancer in humans yet. So the researchers -- who included Rana Singh, PhD, of the University of Colorado's School of Pharmacy -- aren't making any recommendations for people.

Lung cancer is the world's leading cause of cancer deaths. Singh's team tested silibinin to see if it could curb lung cancer in mice.

Why study silibinin? It has shown promise against other types of tumors in tests on rodents, and has few side effects, the researchers note. Their study appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean area. It's been used for thousands of years for various ailments, especially liver problems, states the web site of the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Milk thistle is sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement. It's sometimes called silymarin, which is a mix of milk thistle's active components, including silibinin, notes the NCCAM.