Extrahepatic biliary obstruction: Can silymarin protect liver function?

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The hepatoprotective property of silymarin is well known. However, it is not known whether the antioxidant silymarin might have a beneficial effect in extrahepatic cholestasis in common bile duct ligated rats. Malonaldehyde property concentrations, the hydrogen-donating ability and reducing power were measured in liver homogenates by spectrophotometry, as well as free SH-group levels and glutathione-reductase activities in sera. The total scavenger capacity of the livers was quantified by a chemilumino-metric method. The elevated lipid peroxidation and decreased antioxidant capacity of liver homogenates and sera could be observed in ligated rats. Silymarin pretreatment improved the antioxidant capacity of the liver, diminished the direct bilirubin concentration and caused an increase of liver enzyme activities compared with the groups without treatment. These effects of silymarin suggest that it may be a useful agent for improving the antioxidant defensive system in extrahepatic cholestasis, but its choleretic property should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S78-S80
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 22 2002


  • Antioxidants
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Extrahepatic cholestasis
  • Free radicals
  • Silymarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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