Silymarin reduces lesions, pain in women with endometriosis

26 Oct 2022
Silymarin reduces lesions, pain in women with endometriosis

Among women suffering from endometriosis, treatment with silymarin leads to lowered interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations, smaller endometrioma lesions, and eased pain, a recent study has found.

Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial, enrolling 70 women who were given either 140-mg silymarin or a matching placebo. Treatments were given twice daily for 12 weeks. Outcomes included quality of life, pain, sexual function, lesion volume, and IL-6 serum levels.

In the active intervention group, the mean baseline level of IL-6 was 2.40 pg/mL, which decreased significantly to 2.12 pg/mL after treatment (p=0.002). In placebo comparators, IL-6 remained statistically constant from 2.57 pg/mL at baseline to 2.42 pg/mL at follow-up (p=0.30). The post-treatment IL-6 concentration was significantly lower in those given silymarin (p=0.03).

Pain, as measured by the visual analogue scale, was likewise improved after silymarin treatment, dropping from 7.29 to 4.88 (p<0.001). At follow-up, pain was significantly lower in the intervention vs placebo groups (p=0.01).

Similarly, the endometrial lesion volume was significantly reduced in the silymarin group, particularly in the right ovary (p=0.04).

In contrast, no significant treatment effects were reported for sexual function score, as well as its various subdomains, including arousal, lubrication, and orgasm. Silymarin also showed no significant benefit for quality of life.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first double-blind, randomized clinical trial conducted to investigate the effect of silymarin on serum IL‐6 Levels, the size of endometrioma lesions, quality of life, pain, and sexual function in women diagnosed with ovarian endometriosis,” the researchers said.

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