The effect of milk thistle complex herbal extract on blood glucose maintenance and the prevention of cardiovascular disease in healthy individuals.
Hepburn, L. (2016) The effect of milk thistle complex herbal extract on blood glucose maintenance and the prevention of cardiovascular disease in healthy individuals., no. 72.
Milk thistle (MT/Silybum Marianum) has been used medicinally for over 2000 years for diseases of the hepatic and biliary system in both complimentary and western medicine. It is widely available in tablet, tincture and other formulations through consumer outlets. MTs effectiveness in glucose control in diabetics and in aiding cholesterol control in hypercholesterolemic patients is well evidenced proving its efficacy in glucose management and dyslipidemia treatment is significant in those diagnosed with diabetes and or cardiovascular disease (CVD). More robust and empirically sound studies are required to solidify the use of MT in the clinical setting and the wider consumer environment. A thorough literature review revealed no previously published studies looking at the effect of MT extract on healthy individuals. It may be useful to examine the effect of MT on blood glucose, hepatic function and CVD markers in healthy participants for possible use as preventative treatment to reduce the risk of progression of those diagnosed with metabolic syndrome to diabetes and CVD. The present paper examines the effect of a commercially available MT fruit complex extract containing additional botanical extracts from taraxacum officinalis (dandelion), cynara scolymus (artichoke leaves) and boldo leaves (from the Boldo bush) on glucose control and cardiovascular status in healthy individuals. Using a single blinded, two week trial of supplementation with MT Complex tablets at a dose of 3.2 mg S.marianum, 4.6mg C.scolymus, 1.2mg T.Officianalis, 0.7 mg P.boldus twice daily (provided by A Vogel UK). Participants had baseline measurements of fasting blood glucose (F.Gluc), oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), cholesterol, pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AI), height and weight taken at baseline and after two weeks. The participants were required to take the supplement twice daily during those two weeks and then returned to repeat the previously mentioned measurements. No significant change (P<0.005) was noted in any of the observed variables.