A mini review on the chemistry and neuroprotective effects of silymarin

Kasi Pandima Devi, Dicson Sheeja Malar, Nady Braidy, Seyed Mohammad Nabavi, Seyed Fazel Nabavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The plant milk thistle and silymarin has been traditionally used as a natural remedy for the treatment of various ailments including neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease and cerebral ischemia for over 2000 years. Objective: In this article we review the neuroprotective effects of silymarin against various neurological dysfunctions. Results: The neuroprotective effects conferred by silymarin include modulation of various antioxidant mechanisms, and several kinases involved in cell signaling pathways, inhibition of the inflammatory response generated during neurodegeneration, neurotropic effects, regulation of neurotransmitters and inhibition of apoptosis. The ease of availability, comparative low cost and safety profile provides additional advantages for the use of this compound as a potent drug with immense clinical benefit. However, there is a growing need for improvements in the bioavailability of silymarin and related products, and more consistent and reliable human trials are required to accurately validate the neuroprotective efficacy of this natural compound. Conclusion: The promising outcomes of the studies mentioned in this review provide renewed insight into the clinical relevance of silymarin in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders where neuroinflammation and oxidative stress are pathologically relevant to disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1536
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Issue number13
Early online date27 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzhemer’s disease
  • neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • silymarin
  • neuroprotective effects
  • oxidative stress
  • Alzhemer's disease


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