Selectivity of silymarin on the increase of the glutathione content in different tissues of the rat

Planta Med. 1989 Oct;55(5):420-2. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-962056.


Silymarin, a flavonoid extracted from the seeds of the milk thistle, Silybum marianum, increases the redox state and the total glutathione content of the liver, intestine, and stomach of the rat. The same treatment does not affect the levels of the tripeptides in the kidney, lung, and spleen. This selective effect of the flavonoid on the digestive organs is ascribed to its pharmacokinetics on the digestive track, where the biliary concentration of silymarin is increased and maintained via the entero-hepatic circulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Specificity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Silymarin / pharmacology*


  • Flavonoids
  • Silymarin
  • Glutathione