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Is Milk Thistle Recommended for the Treatment of Diabetic Cancer Patients?

Milk thistle may help in diabetic cancer. If you have diabetes, it is important to carefully manage the disease during and after your cancer treatment. You may be more focused on coping with your cancer diagnosis, but how you care for your diabetes is very important to your health and can affect the success of your treatment plan.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin or use insulin well. Insulin is a hormone that controls how much glucose, or sugar, is in the blood. Pancreas makes this hormone. Too much sugar in the blood for too long can lead to serious health problems. These problems may include heart disease, kidney failure, eye problems, and nerve problems.

Hyperglycemia is high blood sugar. Some people with diabetes need medication to control it. There are many types of diabetes medications and insulin that are used alone or together.

What cancer treatment risks can diabetes cause?

Diabetes can increase the risks of cancer treatment because:

  • Some cancer treatments and their side effects can make your blood sugar levels go up or down.
  • Some cancer treatments can make health problems you have from diabetes worse.
  • People with uncontrolled diabetes may have more severe cancer treatment side effects. For example, they are more likely to get infections and need hospital stays during treatment.

These challenges can make it hard to finish cancer treatment as planned. Your health care team will work with you to lower your treatment risks. Use your personal medical record to share which diabetes medications you take and any problems from diabetes that you have. Also be sure to let your team know if anything changes about your symptoms or your prescription for diabetes medication.

What is Milk Thistle?

Milk thistle is a plant that has distinctive purple flowers and milk-white veins. The extract from the milk thistle plant is commercially available for consumption. The herbal extract provide a number of health benefits, including protection of brain function, liver and bones, and even preventing skin infections like acne. Some research has also credited the bio-active compounds in milk thistle with potentially reducing side-effects of cancer treatments in patients. Milk thistle may lower blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes. Here’s how the herb can help.

Milk Thistle Extracts For Regulating Blood Sugar

Milk thistle has long been used as a herbal remedy for a number of disorders. It is usually consumed in the form of Silymarin, which is a dry mixture of all the natural compounds found in the plant called flavonolignans. Silymarin is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant in nature, and hence, it helps in reducing blood cholesterol. It has come to be popular because of being hypoglycaemic, which means it may help lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity in patients of type-2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) may increase risk of cardiovascular disease and nephropathy—now the leading cause of end-stage renal disease and dialysis in Europe and the United States. Inflammation and oxidative stress play a pivotal role in the development of diabetic complications. Silymarin, an herbal drug with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, may improve glycemic control and prevent the progression of the complications. 

In a systematic review and meta-analysis including five randomized controlled trials and 270 patients, routine silymarin administration determines a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose levels (−26.86 mg/dL; 95% CI −35.42–18.30) and HbA1c levels (−1.07; 95% CI −1.73–0.40) and has no effect on lipid profile.

Milk Thistle Extracts For Diabetic patients with other diseases

Milk Thistle can be helpful in kidney disease in people with diabetes (diabetic nephropathy). Early research shows that taking milk thistle extract together with conventional treatment might help treat kidney disease in people with diabetes.

Researchers have noted that the use of Milk Thistle will help to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment and studies have been done to check the benefits of Milk Thistle in a cancer patient’s diet. This can conclude that if Milk Thistle is consumed by a diabetic cancer patient, it will not only help them by controlling blood sugar levels, but also prevent them from possible organ damages during cancer treatments.

Can You Get Silymarin Naturally From Foods?

People sometimes eat the stem and leaves of milk thistle – the source of silymarin in salads. There are no other food sources for this herb.

How To Use Silymarin

Silymarin is available on ZenOnco website as Milk Thistle capsules.

To know about how to take it, please connect with anti-cancer experts on ZenOnco.io.

They will guide you on how to take this medicine. Alternatively, you can take 2

capsules per day after a meal. Though we strongly recommend you connect with an expert before taking it.

Alternatively, you can make Milk Thistle Tea at home. It’s available for purchase as loose or ground seeds and leaves or in tea bags.

Steep a teabag or 1 teaspoon of loose tea in 1 cup (237 mL) of hot water for 5–10 minutes.

If not using a teabag, strain the tea before drinking it.


Type-2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to process blood sugar or blood glucose.If these people get affected by any other ailment, like cancer or kidney issues, then treatments can become really challenging. 

Milk thistle is one herb that type 2 diabetics may include in their diet to effectively control blood sugar levels, and to help them with any treatments they going through!

Expert Guidance from Cancer Coach

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