AMAZING News! Scientists Report That Milk Thistle Has “Triple Action” Against Skin Cancer

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Scientists Find Milk Thistle Has Triple Action Against Skin Cancer
Milk Thistle Has “Triple Action” Against Skin Cancer. Graphic © Photo © AdobeStock 21610118 (under license)

AMAZING news – please share: Scientists have found that Milk thistle protects against both UV-induced skin cancer and “photo aging” (light degradation) of skin.

Two University of Colorado (USA) Cancer Center studies, the second of which was published on Jan 28th 2013, have demonstrated that silibinin – the main active ingredient in milk thistle seed extract – has efficacy against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced skin carcinogenesis and photo-aging. [1]

What’s truly astonishing is that silibinin has been found to act selectively – killing cells that have been mutated by UVA, while simultaneously being non-toxic to healthy cells and also accelerating repair of UVB-damaged non-cancerous cells.

That’s pretty remarkable: Milk thistle simultaneously a) wipes out cells with damaged DNA [2] b) selectively leaves the healthy cells alone and c) repairs the UVB-damaged ones: It behaves in three different ways when in contact with three different types of cells!

(cue applause for nature…)


The team from the Colorado Cancer Center, led by Rajesh Agarwal PhD, has been studying milk thistle for an astonishing twenty years. Rajesh Agarwal is co-program leader of Cancer Prevention and Control at the CU Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

How’s that for dedication to the cause? Pretty amazing. Let’s be honest – these are unsung heroes of our time. I take my hat off to you and your team, Dr. Agarwal.

Milk thistle is also widely regarded as having remarkable liver protection / healing qualities (this is what it is currently most often employed for) and has also shown some promising results in lab research against breast and prostate cancer cells. Did you know that it has also been employed as an antidote in some types of poisoning and is even claimed by some to be a hangover cure?

See the scientific studies for yourself – we’re not making any of this stuff up:

See a more extended list of studies performed by Dr. Agarwal and his team here:

Milk thistle is widely regarded as an excellent herb and is readily available as a supplement in capsule or tincture form. It is considered one of the “tonic herbs” – and lab tests such as this one have reported it not to cause harm when taken over a prolonged period.


I’ve sourced Milk Thistle for you on (note – I am an Amazon associate and earn commissions on Amazon sales)

Capsule form (this one is getting tons of 5-star reviews) – Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle Standardized Silymarin Extract 30:1 Ratio, 150 mg per Capsule, 200 Gelatin Capsules

Tincture form (Herb Pharm) – Herb Pharm Milk Thistle Extract Mineral Supplement, 1 Ounce

Further Reading:

Anti-cancer herbs” – our giant list of herbs that have been found to have indications of anti-cancer properties, complete with links to scientific studies.

Milk Thistle – our full page on milk thistle complete with history, uses and other scientific research.


The two scientific studies mentioned at the head of the article:

[1] Narayanapillai S, et al. 2012. Silibinin is a potent sensitizer of UVA radiation-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells.

[2] Narayanapillai S, et al. 2014. Silibinin inhibits ultraviolet B radiation-induced DNA-damage and apoptosis by enhancing interleukin-12 expression in JB6 cells and SKH-1 hairless mouse skin.

The info source where I read the news:

Sundem G. Janueary 30, 2013. Silibinin, found in milk thistle, protects against UV-induced skin cancer.

The studies that form the subject of this article were funded by National Cancer Institute.

R-01 research grant CA140368.

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4 thoughts on “AMAZING News! Scientists Report That Milk Thistle Has “Triple Action” Against Skin Cancer

  1. am working at a pharmacy an i like this webside but i never come across with milk twister an i live in the gambia .

  2. What scientists find is that a natural phenol derivative extracted from a very specific portion of the milk thistle plant has some efficacy against cancerous cells in a chemically modified pharmaceutical format and in a laboratory setting in which the cancer cells are isolated outside of the human body. While this is potentially good news for cancer treatment research, it does not mean that you can use milk thistle supplements to effectively treat cancer as this article strongly implies.

  3. This is very good news,milk thistle supplements give positive good treatment results in certain tests.

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