Antioxidant and Anti-Hepatitis C Viral Activities of Commercial Milk Thistle Food Supplements


Antioxidant and Anti-Hepatitis C Viral Activities of Commercial Milk Thistle Food Supplements

Kevin Anthony 1 , Gitanjali Subramanya 2,† , Susan Uprichard 2,† , Faiza Hammouda 3 and Mahmoud Saleh 1,*

1 Department of Chemistry, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX 77004, USA 2 Department of Medicine, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA 3 Department of Phytochemistry, National Research Center, Dokki 12311, Cairo, Egypt † Current Address: Department of Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 6 November 2012; in revised form: 27 December 2012 / Accepted: 25 January 2013 / Published: 6 February 2013

Article Source:
Antioxidant and Anti-Hepatitis C Viral Activities of Commercial Milk Thistle Food Supplements
Antioxidants 2013, 2(1), 23-36; doi:10.3390/antiox2010023 (doi registration under processing) - published online 6 February 2013

Abstract:
Milk thistle dietary supplements that contain silymarin are widely marketed and used in the USA and other countries for liver enhancement and recovery. More recently, silymarin has also been identified as a possible antiviral for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. To assess different brands of commercially sold silymarin, 45 products were collected from local stores and analyzed for their silymarin content, antioxidant activities, and antiviral activity against HCV. Antioxidant activity was measured as radical scavenging activity using DPPH and by estimating their antioxidant capacity as trolox equivalent. Anti-HCV activity was measured in an HCV genotype 1b replication inhibition assay. Samples were found to vary widely in their silymarin content, with some samples having none or very low concentrations while silymarin represented higher than 80% of other samples. Both antioxidant and anti-HCV activity correlated with the overall level of silymarin.

Keywords: Silybum marianum; radical scavenger; food supplement; over the counter drugs; hepatitis C virus

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