The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Clarifying milk thistle nomenclature

    It’s easy to fall into the trap of using names incorrectly, assuming that differences are unimportant.

    Milk thistle extracts are being studied to treat cancer and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy. Here’s what we should know, terminology-wise.

    Milk thistle extract

    • The initial extract of crushed milk thistle seeds
    • Contains 65% to 80% silymarin and 20% to 35% fatty acids, such as linoleic acid

    Flavonolignan

    • The most common class of compounds in milk thistle extract

    Silymarin

    • A purified version of milk thistle extract
    • Contains at least 7 flavonolignans and 1 flavonoid that comprises 65% to 80% of milk thistle extract

    Silibinin

    • A semipurified, commercially available form of silymarin
    • A roughly 1:1 mixture of silybin A and silybin B

    Isosilibinin

    • Similar but more potent than silibinin, and may be produced more economically

    Probably more than we need to know right now, but later it might be important.

    7/16/07 18:32 JR

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