From what I have gathered, most forumites here are taking between 600-900mg per day, and there doesn't seem to be a good reason to not take it. Especially while under treatment. I haven't encountered anyone that says it interacts negatively with anything else, but talk to your doctor about
it if you have one.
from a previous thread:
When I was fighting my disease as Meniere's Syndrome, I ran into the problem of how to get doctors to believe the stuff I read on the internet. Most doctors just roll their eyes when you try to show them something you found on the web.
Enter PubMed. PubMed is the National Institutes of Health clearinghouse for medical research. Articles published on PubMed are the same articles that doctors read in the medical journals. It doesn't mean that the research is all accurate, but it does meet the standards for medical research and has been peer-reviewed. If you search PubMed for "Milk Thistle" you'll find these and many more www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
Here are studies concerting Milk Thistle and Liver Protection
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21633595 Silybin and the liver: from basic research to clinical practice.
"On the basis of literature data, silybin seems a promising drug for chronic liver disease"
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20564545 Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future.
"Silymarin has been used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis and toxin-induced liver diseases"
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21560654 [Hepatoprotective properties of silymarin].
"The results of clinical trials and systematic reviews of silymarin use show high efficacy of the drug in patients with amanitine, drugs, and other toxic injuries of liver, viral hepatitis, NASH."
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20034535 Silymarin, the antioxidant component and Silybum marianum extracts prevent liver damage.
It can reverse the damage from hepatitis c
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22091246 Effects of silybum marianum on patients with chronic hepatitis C
"This study indicated that in patients with CHC performing silymarin (650 mg/day) for 6 months, improved serum HCV-RNA titer, serum aminotransferases (ALT, AST), hepatic fibrosis and patient's quality of life"
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17548793 Review of clinical trials evaluating safety and efficacy of milk thistle (Silybum marianum [L.] Gaertn.).
"Promising results have been reported in the protective effect of milk thistle in certain types of cancer, and ongoing trials will provide more evidence about this effect. In addition, new established doses and improvement on the quality and standardization of this herb will provide the much-awaited evidence about the efficacy of milk thistle in the treatment of liver diseases. Milk thistle extracts are known to be safe and well tolerated, and toxic or adverse effects observed in the reviewed clinical trials seem to be minimal. "
Other studies show that Silybin and Silymarin (extracts of Milk Thistle) are beneficial for a whole range of issues besides just the liver, including reducing tumor growth.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21300790 Investigating the potential for toxicity from long-term use of the herbal products, goldenseal and milk thistle.
"In contrast, the radical-scavenging and antioxidant properties of silibinin and other flavonolignans in milk thistle extract may have contributed to the decrease in background tumors in rodents in the present studies. "
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20015009 Silibinin--a promising new treatment for cancer.
and may improve amyloid plaque build up in Alzheimers
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21071836 Silymarin attenuated the amyloid β plaque burden and improved behavioral abnormalities in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.
"These results suggest that silymarin is a promising agent for the prevention of AD."
However, it can effect blood concentrations of warfarin, so if you're like me and take warfarin (Coumadin), you need to monitor your pro-time carefully while taking Milk Thistle