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Warning About interactions Between Milk Thistle and Drugs

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by liverock, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    An in vitro study has shown that Milk Thistle had interactions with several drugs, particularly some HIV drugs, due to it blocking an enzyme in the liver which controls a detoxification pathway. This can cause a buildup of the drug in the system and an increase in side effects.

    http://www.hcvadvocate.org/news/News...s/mthistle.pdf
     
    Lotus97 likes this.
  2. illsince1977

    illsince1977 A shadow of my former self

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    Thanks for posting this.

    All I'd ever heard was that milk thistle is good for your liver. Is it possibly "good" for your liver by keeping it from working so hard? Wouldn't that in turn make it bad for your body by slowing detox? Might that be why I started getting bad headaches after taking it for a few months? I only realized milk thistle was causing them when out of desperation to figure out what was causing them, I stopped and they went away 2 days later.

    At least I wasn't taking milk thistle when I was taking Mepron! :rolleyes:

    A lot has been written about grapefruit effecting the same pathway, but I had no idea milk thistle does too.

    This just reinforces my new found conviction not to use supplements. I don't do well on them at all. It's obvious to me now that their mechanisms are even less studied than drug mechanisms, which are poorly understood as it is! You've given me a whole new perspective on it! Thanks.

    -Susan
     
  3. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    This is interesting. I assumed that milk thistle increases cytochrome p450 cyp3a4 enzymes since it is recommended for detoxification, but I guess not:(
     
  4. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I found something that suggests milk thistle might not inhibit cyp3a4 to a significant amount.
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/milkthistle/HealthProfessional/page6
     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Its not just drugs. If you have high iron levels, milk thistle has been claimed to exercabate the effects. I have not investigated this to confirm it, but I avoid milk thistle as a precautionary measure since my iron levels are high.
     
  6. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I just read that milk thistle chelates iron so I thought that it would be good if you have too much iron, but I guess if you don't have anything to bind to the iron that's chelated you wouldn't be able to eliminate the iron and it would be redistributed back into your tissues. This is an issue with chelation in general which a lot of people seem to overlook.
     
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Yes Lotus97, there is no natural pathway to elimate iron except bleeding. You just move it around.
     

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