Chemistry

Milk thistle contains as an active constituent silymarin (Fig. 29.15),66 which is actually a mixture of three isomeric flavanolignans: silybin (silibinin), silychristin, and silydianin. Silybin is the most active hepatoprotectant and antioxidant compound of the mixture. Also present in the plant are the flavanolignans dehydrosilybin, silyandrin, silybinome, and silyhermin. Other lipid-soluble components are apigenin, silybonol, and linoleic, oleic, myristic, stearic, and palmitic acids.

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