Silymarin is an antioxidant extract obtained from milk thistle. It is well known that many of the problems suffered by diabetics are the result of oxidative stress; meaning that antioxidants may be valuable for improving the health of diabetics. Recent research, appearing in Phytotherapy Research (Volume 20, Issue 12, December 2006;1036-1039) showed that silymarin may help to lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Over a period of four months 25 subjects with type 2 diabetes received 200 mg of a silymarin extract three times each day. Another 26 subjects received a placebo. The subjects receiving the supplement had reduced fasting blood glucose, lower heboglobin A1c (this is a measure of long-term blood sugar control), triglycerides, total cholesterol and lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol).
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