Milk Thistle Can Help Protect Cancer Patients

January 5, 2010 by  
Filed under featured, Health


I have often suggested to those undertaking chemotherapy that they talk to a homoeopath and get a remedy to protect them from the side effects of the chemotherapy and its effect on the immune system. There are several remedies available from places like the Ainsworths in London and the Galen Pharmacy in Dorset. They latter are happy to advise you by phone if you call them on 01305 263996 and they can then post a remedy out to you.

Now there is a new study out that offers hope for patients who suffer liver inflammation as a result of chemotherapy. A study recently published by the American Cancer Society indicates that the herb could be helpful in allowing patients to take potent doses of chemotherapy without damaging their liver.

Chemotherapy drugs frequently cause liver inflammation with the result that their dose of the drug must be reduced or stopped. Clinical studies have already established that the herb can be used to reduce damage from cirrhosis (from alcohol) or toxins (such as mushroom poisoning) but this is the first review to establish if it can be helpful in cancer patients.

Fifty children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and who all were suffering from liver inflammation, a common side effect of their chemotherapy, took part in a randomized, controlled, double blind study in New York. Half were given milk thistle and half a placebo and at the end of the trial period they performed liver function tests on all the children.

Those who were given milk thistle had improvements in their liver enzymes compared with children receiving a placebo. Taking milk thistle also seemed to help keep fewer patients from having to lower the dose of their medications: chemotherapy doses were reduced in 61 percent of the group receiving milk thistle, compared with 72 percent of the placebo group. In addition, milk thistle appeared to be safe for consumption. Also, the researchers found that milk thistle does not interfere with the cancer-fighting properties of chemotherapy.

For anyone dealing with liver toxicity, from whatever cause, it would seem to make sense to add this herb into any treatment regime.