Lower glycemic indices and lipid profile among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients who received novel dose of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) extract supplement: A Triple-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial

Phytomedicine. 2018 May 15;44:39-44. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.03.050. Epub 2018 Mar 19.


Objective: This randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of silymarin supplementation on glycemic indices and serum lipid profile in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients.

Methods: 40 T2DM patients (twenty male and twenty female), 25-50 years of age and on stable medication, were recruited for the present paralleled, randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The participants were randomly assigned to the silymarin or placebo groups, in which the patients either received 140 mg of silymarin, thrice daily (n = 20) or placebo (n = 20) for 45 days. Anthropometric and dietary intake data were collected at the baseline and end of the trial. Fasting blood samples were collected, and glycemic indices and lipid profile were determined at baseline, as well as the end of the study.

Results: Silymarin supplementation led to significant reduction in fasting blood sugar, serum insulin, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance, serum triglyceride and triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio as compared to the placebo, by 11.01, 14.35, 25.92, 23.7 and 27.67% respectively. There was significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index in the silymarin group as compared to the placebo group, by 6.88 and 5.64% respectively, (p < 0.05). Total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations significantly decreased in the silymarin group as compared to the baseline, by 7.93 (p = 0.001) and 7.15% (p = 0.02), respectively.

Conclusion: Silymarin supplementation may improve the glycemic indices and lipid profiles of T2DM patients. More studies are needed to validate the adjunct use of silymarin for metabolic control of T2DM patients.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Hyperglycemia; Serum lipids; Silymarin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk Thistle / chemistry
  • Silymarin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipids
  • Silymarin
  • Triglycerides