milk thistle and liver function during chemo

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mariam_11_09
mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
For what it is worth, I thought I would share in a seperate post. It appears that milk thistle can help protect the liver during chemotherapy. I found the paper that was written on the study that was done with children with leukemia, that is those who took milk thistle were able to tolerate higher doses of chemo than the placebo group however the difference was not that significant. My Oncologist okayed the use of milk thistle during chemo. The reason I wanted to use it, is because I have had hep. C for the last 40 years and was concerned about liver function. I have had elevated liver enzymes but only marginal and then they fall again very quickly seemingly when I increase the dose of milk thistle (sylmarin). I don't know if this is because of the use of milk thistle or if I would have been this way anyway. However I thought it might be useful to share with you on this board but whatever you choose to do remember to always okay it with your doctor first.

Human/Clinical Studies
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/milkthistle/HealthProfessional/page6

Two published case reports describe the use of milk thistle as either a treatment or an adjunctive therapy in individuals with cancer. One case report describes the use of milk thistle in a 34-year-old woman with promyelocytic leukemia.[1] The investigators administered 800 mg of silymarin during the patient’s maintenance therapy, which consisted of treatment with methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine. During the 4 months of treatment with silymarin, the patient who previously required intermittent breaks in therapy due to abnormal liver enzyme levels had normal liver enzyme levels with no further interruption of therapy. A second case report describes a 52-year-old man with hepatocellular carcinoma.[2] The patient began taking 450 mg of silymarin per day, and spontaneous regression of the tumor was reported in the absence of initiation of anticancer therapy.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 50 children who were undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and who had chemotherapy -related hepatotoxicity were randomly assigned to receive silymarin or placebo for a 4-week period.[3] Four weeks following completion of the intervention, the silymarin group had a significantly lower aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (P = .05) and a trend towards a significantly lower alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (P = .07). Fewer chemotherapy dose reductions were observed in the silymarin group compared to the placebo group; however, the difference was not significant. No adverse events were reported.


Another URL.

http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/milk-thistle

Comments

  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
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    Miriam
    Thanks for sharing this. I'm done with my chemo, but I will talk to my doctor to see if she thinks that taking it now might help counteract any damage that may have been done during chemo.


    Even if it doesn't apply to me, I'm sure many of the ladies about to start chemo might want to discuss with their doctor.

    Cindy
  • Katz77
    Katz77 Member Posts: 598
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    Milk Thistle
    Had to share my milk thistle story. I was finishing up the last of Taxol, and read a report, I think on NIH page about detoxing the liver. Milk thistle on there. I had asked my Onc. He wanted me to wait till treatment done. I even waited a couple more months. Didn't want to "wash" away Taxol.
    I don't know if anyone experienced a soft skin feel and even wrinkles were less, during treatment with taxol. I did. I loved my skin. Hated my hands and feet, neuropathy. lol Of course skin went back to it's normal texture and yes the wrinkles returned. Anyhow ( I'm a babbler)Started taking the milk thistle and the smooth and wrinkless skin returned for a couple of weeks. Then, of course back to "normal". Guess what I'm saying, I do believe in it. Take it daily now. Felt like a cleansing, esp after all the posion being dump into me. OF COURSE, DEF NEED TO TALK IT OVER WITH YOUR DOCS. This was my experience. Was I yelling? lol Everyone have a great day, weekend. Katz
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    Miriam
    Thanks for sharing this. I'm done with my chemo, but I will talk to my doctor to see if she thinks that taking it now might help counteract any damage that may have been done during chemo.


    Even if it doesn't apply to me, I'm sure many of the ladies about to start chemo might want to discuss with their doctor.

    Cindy

    Interesting! Thanks for
    Interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    Leeza
  • waffle8
    waffle8 Member Posts: 234
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    Katz77 said:

    Milk Thistle
    Had to share my milk thistle story. I was finishing up the last of Taxol, and read a report, I think on NIH page about detoxing the liver. Milk thistle on there. I had asked my Onc. He wanted me to wait till treatment done. I even waited a couple more months. Didn't want to "wash" away Taxol.
    I don't know if anyone experienced a soft skin feel and even wrinkles were less, during treatment with taxol. I did. I loved my skin. Hated my hands and feet, neuropathy. lol Of course skin went back to it's normal texture and yes the wrinkles returned. Anyhow ( I'm a babbler)Started taking the milk thistle and the smooth and wrinkless skin returned for a couple of weeks. Then, of course back to "normal". Guess what I'm saying, I do believe in it. Take it daily now. Felt like a cleansing, esp after all the posion being dump into me. OF COURSE, DEF NEED TO TALK IT OVER WITH YOUR DOCS. This was my experience. Was I yelling? lol Everyone have a great day, weekend. Katz

    milk thistle
    I took this during my chemo treatments with my doc's ok.......I am wondering how long to keep taking?
    Blessings....
  • sal314
    sal314 Member Posts: 599 Member
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    Milk Thistle
    I took it after I was done with chemo. I also did a bunch of "detoxifying" herbs to cleans my body of all the toxins. Along with accupuncture. It made me feel better and I just felt like I was being proactive in getting my body back to a healthy state. I kept it up for about 2 years. Then, I everything else I tend to dive into, I slowly lost steam and just felt it was time to stop.

    Sally
  • waffle8
    waffle8 Member Posts: 234
    Options
    sal314 said:

    Milk Thistle
    I took it after I was done with chemo. I also did a bunch of "detoxifying" herbs to cleans my body of all the toxins. Along with accupuncture. It made me feel better and I just felt like I was being proactive in getting my body back to a healthy state. I kept it up for about 2 years. Then, I everything else I tend to dive into, I slowly lost steam and just felt it was time to stop.

    Sally

    sal314
    I have been doing the acupuncture thing too....Did you find it painful at all? Not sure it is helping but any excuse to lay down for a hour or half works for me...lol