For patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), use of an extract of the milk thistle plant was associated with greater NASH resolution and improvement in fibrosis compared to placebo in a study presented at the 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria.

In the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 64 patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH were assigned to silymarin or placebo for 48 weeks. A significantly greater percentage of patients in the silymarin arm experienced NASH resolution and improvement in fibrosis at the end of 48 weeks vs. the placebo group.

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Additional research is needed to further investigate the safety and efficacy of silymarin for NASH. Currently there are no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat NASH.

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