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  1. #1
    ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ iForce Dave's Avatar
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    Milk Thistle Raises Prolactin

    Quoted, thought it was a pretty good read:

    Milk Thistle also known as St. Mary's Thistle (Silybum marianum) has a long history in the western herbal tradition as being a galactagogue i.e. a stimulant of milk production in lactating women. Until recently there was little evidence that milk thistle was a galactagogue and this application of milk thistle was folkloric.

    For some reason unknown to me the Italians began investigating milk thistle in relation to lactation in 2004 with the publication of Effects of Silymarin, a Natural Hepatoprotector, in Periparturient Dairy Cows by Tedesco et al. They found that milk thistle did indeed increase milk production, in cows at least.

    Di Pierro et al (2008) prompted to some extent by Tedesco et al (2004) (we know because they cite that study) examined the effect of milk thistle on lactating humans. They found that milk thistle boosted milk production in lactating human mothers by a whopping 85%(compared to placebo 32%).

    But how does milk thistle produce increased milk production? Capasso et al (2009) sought to determine how milk thistle acts as a galactagogue. Using female rats they found that milk thistle raises prolactin levels and that this appears to be the mode by which milk production is increased. They also found that administering Bromocriptine (a dopamine D(2) receptor agonist) attenuated the hyperprolactinemic effect of milk thistle.

    The last piece of the puzzle (i.e. the Capasso study) was published only a few months ago so this is a very recent result and conclusion. It is only one paper and the result is yet to be reproduced but the prior two studies point in the same direction so it can't be dismissed entirely.

    I suggest that if your are prone to gynecomastia or have experienced gynecomastia on-cycle -- especially gynecomastia with lactation -- that you refrain from using milk thistle as a liver protectant. If the Capasso study is confirmed by further studies then milk thistle would be a herb entirely unsuited to men in general.

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  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by iForce Dave View Post
    Quoted, thought it was a pretty good read:




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  3. #3
    Registered User Grambo25's Avatar
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    So it was all done on lactiating mothers correct? Not men and not normal women?

    Was there a dose in there anywhere?

    I believe that this may be jumping a conclusion a bit too quickly. I would liek to see how it would react in normal people, particular men before making it more applicable. Seems liek with the abundance of milk thistle used by people on cycle or even drinking energy drinks, problems would have cropped up by now if it were a major problem. Also a majority of gyno is estrogen related not prolactin.
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  4. #4
    Dieting Down BringnIt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Grambo25 View Post
    So it was all done on lactiating mothers correct? Not men and not normal women?

    Was there a dose in there anywhere?

    I believe that this may be jumping a conclusion a bit too quickly. I would liek to see how it would react in normal people, particular men before making it more applicable. Seems liek with the abundance of milk thistle used by people on cycle or even drinking energy drinks, problems would have cropped up by now if it were a major problem. Also a majority of gyno is estrogen related not prolactin.
    I second all of this. I hear a lot of anecdote at my job and this has never once been mentioned, which is saying something.
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  5. #5
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    I take milk thistle (have a mildly fatty liver) and hasn't caused me to start lactating.
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  6. #6
    Registered User rmack27's Avatar
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    I have a minor case of gyno and take milk thistle for general liver protectiion. I find that when i increase the dosage it causes my nips to be a little more puffy then usual. I currently just take a minimal dosage because of this. I also find that gingko biloba has a similar effect because of it's estrogenic qualities. I have no studies to back this up or anything, but i did isolate these two supps as the culprit for this reaction. Im not saying they were at all responsible for the gyno itself, just that they seem to make it look worse then it actually is. Take it for what it's worth i guess.
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  7. #7
    ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ iForce Dave's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rmack27 View Post
    I have a minor case of gyno and take milk thistle for general liver protectiion. I find that when i increase the dosage it causes my nips to be a little more puffy then usual. I currently just take a minimal dosage because of this. I also find that gingko biloba has a similar effect because of it's estrogenic qualities. I have no studies to back this up or anything, but i did isolate these two supps as the culprit for this reaction. Im not saying they were at all responsible for the gyno itself, just that they seem to make it look worse then it actually is. Take it for what it's worth i guess.
    Very Interesting. Its good to hear real world feedback. This seems to back up the article.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by Grambo25 View Post
    So it was all done on lactiating mothers correct? Not men and not normal women?

    Was there a dose in there anywhere?
    The dosage was 420 mg a day. I think most are dosing 1000 mg a day for liver protection, at least that's what's in Cycle Assist and Cycle Support. If they saw an increase in prolactin levels and knocked them back down with a dopamine agonist then I'm willing to believe that the findings are applicable to us as well as lactating women. Maybe the all in one support products should have some vitex or p5p in there.

    Reading this stuff makes my nipples twitch.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Chev25's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SeanEH View Post
    The dosage was 420 mg a day. I think most are dosing 1000 mg a day for liver protection, at least that's what's in Cycle Assist and Cycle Support. If they saw an increase in prolactin levels and knocked them back down with a dopamine agonist then I'm willing to believe that the findings are applicable to us as well as lactating women. Maybe the all in one support products should have some vitex or p5p in there.

    Reading this stuff makes my nipples twitch.
    Tis is because milk thistle contains phyto-estrogens(sylmarin). They attatch to the estrogen beta receptor. And are estrogen agonists.

    J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2003 Aug;86(2):179-88.

    Silymarin is a selective estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta) agonist and has estrogenic effects in the metaphysis of the femur but no or antiestrogenic effects in the uterus of ovariectomized (ovx) rats.
    Seidlová-Wuttke D, Becker T, Christoffel V, Jarry H, Wuttke W.

    Department of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, University of Goettingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Goettingen, Germany.

    Abstract
    Silymarin is a widely used standardized mixture of flavonolignans and its major component Silybinin binds to cytosolic estrogen receptors. Here, we demonstrate that this binding is exclusive to the estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta). Treatment of ovariectomized (ovx) rats with silymarin or estradiol (E2) may allow differentiation of biological effects mediated by the ERalpha or ERbeta. E2 inhibited serum LH, cholesterol, LDL and HDL concentrations in the blood and increased gene expression of IGF1, HbEGF and C3 in the uterus, while silymarin was totally ineffective or antagonistic in altering these parameters. Both, E2 and silymarin inhibited expression of uterine ERbeta gene. Hence, in the pituitary, liver (where the lipoproteins are synthesized) and uterus E2 acts primarily via the ERalpha. Exclusive estrogenic effects of silymarin were observed in the metaphysis of the femur (MF), on osteoblast parameters (gene expression of IGF1, TGFbeta1, osteoprotegerin, collagen-1alpha1, osteocalcin (OC)) and on the osteoclast activity marker tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) gene expression of adult ovx rats. Our RT-PCR method detects ERbeta gene expression in all organs including developing bones but not in the MF of adult ovx rats. We conclude therefore, that the effects of silymarin in this part of the bone cannot be exerted via the ERalpha because it does not bind to this receptor subtype. Despite the failure to detect ERbeta mRNA in the MF of our animals the possibility exists that ERbeta protein is present and may mediate the effects of silymarin. Another possibility may be that the effect of silymarin and therefore possibly also of E2 in the MF may be mediated via other possibly not yet identified receptors or via an ERbeta splice variant which is not detected by our PCR-method.

    PMID: 14568570 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by rmack27 View Post
    I have a minor case of gyno and take milk thistle for general liver protectiion. I find that when i increase the dosage it causes my nips to be a little more puffy then usual. I currently just take a minimal dosage because of this. I also find that gingko biloba has a similar effect because of it's estrogenic qualities. I have no studies to back this up or anything, but i did isolate these two supps as the culprit for this reaction. Im not saying they were at all responsible for the gyno itself, just that they seem to make it look worse then it actually is. Take it for what it's worth i guess.
    what was/is your dosing protocol.
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