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Silymarin for HCV infection

Stephen J Polyak, Nicholas H Oberlies, Eve-Isabelle Pécheur, Harel Dahari, Peter Ferenci, Jean-Michel Pawlotsky

Corresponding author name: Stephen J Polyak
Corresponding author e-mail: polyak@uw.edu

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2013; 18:141-147
doi: 10.3851/IMP2402

Date accepted: 11 July 2012
Date published online: 25 September 2012


Silymarin, an extract of milk thistle seeds, and silymarin-derived compounds have been considered hepatoprotective since the plant was first described in ancient times. Hepatoprotection is defined as several non-mutually exclusive biological activities including antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory functions. Despite clear evidence for silymarin-induced hepatoprotection in cell culture and animal models, evidence for beneficial effects in humans has been equivocal. This review will summarize the current state of knowledge on silymarin in the context of HCV infection. The information was collated from a recent workshop on silibinin in Germany.


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