Euromed adopts milk thistle through ABC's Adopt-an-Herb programme

The research and education initiative aims to include and update specific botanicals in the HerbMedPro online database including more than 265 herbs, spices, medicinal plants and fungi

Euromed, the producer of standardised herbal extracts and natural active substances based in Spain, is participating in the American Botanical Council's (ABC) "Adopt-an-Herb" programme. The research and education initiative aims to include and update specific botanicals in the HerbMedPro online database. The system provides access to scientific data relating to more than 265 herbs, spices, medicinal plants and fungi.

By adopting milk thistle, Euromed is helping to ensure that the most current information on the botanical is available for researchers, health professionals, consumers and members of the dietary supplements industry.

Silymarin: Purple-pink power

Native to the Mediterranean region, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a spiky herbaceous plant that's usually adorned with a purple-pink flower. Seeds extracts have validated benefits for liver health. They also have been used both preventively and curatively to protect the liver from toxins, including alcohol, aspirin, acetaminophen, heavy metals and the death cap mushroom.

The active constituent of milk thistle seeds (fruits) is a flavonoid called silymarin, the key component of which is silibinin. Silymarin can neutralise harmful free radicals that result from the metabolism of toxic substances. It also has shown the ability to stimulate the synthesis of liver-protective bile salts and alter cell membrane permeability, which prevents toxins from entering liver cells.

Additionally, silymarin can increase the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that is important for liver detoxification.

Euromed is known internationally for its leadership in manufacturing standardised botanical extracts. The company's milk thistle extract has been clinically studied during the past few decades in thousands of patients worldwide. Recent investigation suggests that it may have further benefits that go beyond liver support. For instance, preliminary research at the University of Washington shows that milk thistle extract elicits anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory activity in human immune cells, including cells obtained from HIV-positive subjects.1 Another study indicates that Euromed's silibinin standardised extract may even be beneficial in the field of oncology to patients with brain metastases.2

"We highly regard the work done by the American Botanical Council and believe the Adopt- an-Herb programme is an ideal channel to communicate the vast amount of scientific and clinical research on milk thistle to a growing and diverse global audience," said Andrea Zangara, Scientific Marketing Manager of Euromed.

Stefan Gafner, Chief Science Officer of ABC, added: "Milk thistle extract is one of the main botanical ingredients to maintain liver health. The effects of silymarin have been researched extensively and we are grateful to Euromed for helping to make this research available in an easily accessible manner through our HerbMedPro database. This will be a great resource for healthcare professionals and other people with interest in this important medicinal plant."

References

1. Lovelace ES et al. PloS One. Published online February 3, 2017

2. Priego N, et al. Nature Medicine. 2018 Jul;24(7):1024-1035.

(More details can be found on the Health Awareness website https://www.healthawareness.co.uk/rare-diseases/specific-herbal-extracts-for-medical-research-milk-thistle-and-oncology/).

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